Dr. Charlton’s primary research focus is reproductive health disparities among sexual and gender minorities. Her research has sustained continuous funding for the last decade from the NIH and foundations including the American Cancer Society. She has been the Principal Investigator on 18 grants and she collaborates with colleagues across the globe on a host of large-scale studies. Dr. Charlton has published nearly 50 original research papers—more than 30 of which she has been the first or senior author—in peer reviewed journals including the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, as well as specialty journals including Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Journal of Adolescent Health. Two of her papers in The BMJ ranked in the top 1% of most-read articles published in similar high-impact clinical journals. She is known internationally as a leading scholar documenting persistent and pronounced reproductive health disparities affecting sexual and gender minorities including disparities in unintended and teen pregnancies as well as cervical cancer screening. The second focal area of her research has been on contraception use and family planning among people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

In addition to Dr. Charlton’s research program, she co-leads Harvard SOGIE—a 75+ member collaborative that brings together internationally-recognized experts from diverse disciplines whose research focuses on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, and health. Dr. Charlton has also individually mentored more than 35 scholars including junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and trainees. She founded Harvard’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sexual Orientation and Reproductive Health Disparities Research and she has been the primary mentor on NIH-funded career development awards. Dr. Charlton leads formal classroom teaching in epidemiologic methods and reproductive health research across Harvard and its teaching hospitals. In the realm of medical education, she helps to lead efforts with Harvard Medical School's Sexual and Gender Minority Health Equity Initiative—a multi-year enterprise to enhance the ability of medical school students and faculty to provide evidence-based care by integrating sexual and gender minority health content across the curriculum.


Dr. Brittany Charlton is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology. She is the Co-Director of the Harvard SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Health Equity Research Collaborative. Dr. Charlton holds a BA from The New School as well as an MSc and ScD from the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


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  1. Mapping the scientific literature on reproductive health among transgender and gender diverse people: a scoping review. Sex Reprod Health Matters. 2021 Dec; 29(1):1886395. View abstract
  2. Sexual Orientation and Age at Menarche in Three U.S. Longitudinal Cohorts. J Adolesc Health. 2021 Aug 14. View abstract
  3. Contraceptive Care Disparities Among Sexual Orientation Identity and Racial/Ethnic Subgroups of U.S. Women: A National Probability Sample Study. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 Jun 15. View abstract
  4. The interaction of sexual orientation and provider-patient communication on sexual and reproductive health in a sample of U.S. women of diverse sexual orientations. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 May 16. View abstract
  5. Breakthrough Bleeding in Transgender and Gender Diverse Adolescents and Young Adults on Long-Term Testosterone. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2021 Oct; 34(5):706-716. View abstract
  6. Variation in diet quality across sexual orientation in a cohort of U.S. women. Cancer Causes Control. 2021 Jun; 32(6):645-651. View abstract
  7. Sexual Behavior and Contraceptive Use Among Cisgender and Gender Minority College Students Who Were Assigned Female at Birth. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2021 Aug; 34(4):477-483. View abstract
  8. Sexual Identity and Birth Outcomes: A Focus on the Moderating Role of Race-ethnicity. J Health Soc Behav. 2021 06; 62(2):183-201. View abstract
  9. Differences in Tobacco Product Use by Sexual Orientation and Violence Factors Among United States Youth. J Pediatr. 2021 06; 233:241-248. View abstract
  10. Multiple marginalisation and unintended pregnancy among racial/ethnic and sexual minority college women. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2021 Jul; 35(4):493-500. View abstract
  11. Sexual orientation-related differences in contraceptive use: A brief report based on a cohort of adolescent and young women. Contraception. 2021 03; 103(3):195-198. View abstract
  12. Erectile Dysfunction in a Sample of Sexually Active Young Adult Men from a U.S. Cohort: Demographic, Metabolic and Mental Health Correlates. J Urol. 2021 02; 205(2):539-544. View abstract
  13. Maternal Comfort with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People and Their Children's Drinking, Smoking, and Disordered Weight Control Behaviors as Adults. LGBT Health. 2020 10; 7(7):375-384. View abstract
  14. Sexual and reproductive health information: Disparities across sexual orientation groups in two cohorts of U.S. women. Sex Res Social Policy. 2021 Sep; 18(3):612-620. View abstract
  15. Sexual Orientation Identity Disparities in Mammography Among White, Black, and Latina U.S. Women. LGBT Health. 2020 Jul 13. View abstract
  16. Indoor Ultraviolet Tanning Among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults: Results From a Prospective Study of Early Onset and Persistence. J Adolesc Health. 2020 10; 67(4):609-611. View abstract
  17. Quality of Life in Adolescent and Young Adult Women With Dyspareunia and Endometriosis. J Adolesc Health. 2020 10; 67(4):557-561. View abstract
  18. Sexual Orientation Differences in Cervical Cancer Prevention among a Cohort of U.S. Women. Womens Health Issues. 2020 Jul - Aug; 30(4):306-312. View abstract
  19. Sexual Orientation and Suicide Attempt Disparities Among US Adolescents: 2009-2017. Pediatrics. 2020 03; 145(3). View abstract
  20. Sexual orientation-related disparities in healthcare access in three cohorts of U.S. adults. Prev Med. 2020 03; 132:105999. View abstract
  21. Sexual orientation and benign breast disease in a cohort of U.S. women. Cancer Causes Control. 2020 Feb; 31(2):173-179. View abstract
  22. Sexual Orientation Differences in Pregnancy and Abortion Across the Lifecourse. Womens Health Issues. 2020 Mar - Apr; 30(2):65-72. View abstract
  23. The contraceptive and reproductive history and planning goals of trans-masculine adults: a mixed-methods study. Contraception. 2019 12; 100(6):468-473. View abstract
  24. Sexual orientation inequalities during provider-patient interactions in provider encouragement of sexual and reproductive health care. Prev Med. 2019 09; 126:105787. View abstract
  25. Structural stigma and sexual orientation-related reproductive health disparities in a longitudinal cohort study of female adolescents. J Adolesc. 2019 07; 74:183-187. View abstract
  26. Teen Pregnancy Experiences of Sexual Minority Women. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2019 Oct; 32(5):499-505. View abstract
  27. Contraceptive use by women across different sexual orientation groups. Contraception. 2019 09; 100(3):202-208. View abstract
  28. Positive parenting improves multiple aspects of health and well-being in young adulthood. Nat Hum Behav. 2019 07; 3(7):684-691. View abstract
  29. Maternal Factors and Sexual Orientation-Related Disparities in Cervical Cancer Prevention. Womens Health Issues. 2019 May - Jun; 29(3):238-244. View abstract
  30. Sexual Orientation and Exposure to Violence Among U.S. Patients Undergoing Abortion. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 09; 132(3):605-611. View abstract
  31. Sexual orientation-related disparities in employment, health insurance, healthcare access and health-related quality of life: a cohort study of US male and female adolescents and young adults. BMJ Open. 2018 07 26; 8(6):e020418. View abstract
  32. Sexual-orientation differences in alcohol use trajectories and disorders in emerging adulthood: results from a longitudinal cohort study in the United States. Addiction. 2018 Apr 21. View abstract
  33. Teen Pregnancy Risk Factors Among Young Women of Diverse Sexual Orientations. Pediatrics. 2018 04; 141(4). View abstract
  34. Addressing the dearth of critical gender analysis in public health and medical pedagogy: an interdisciplinary seminar to generate student-created teaching examples. Crit Public Health. 2019; 29(1):18-26. View abstract
  35. Teenage pregnancy prevention: the role of young men. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2017 Aug; 29(4):393-398. View abstract
  36. Stigma and Health-Related Quality of Life in Sexual Minorities. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Oct; 53(4):559-566. View abstract
  37. Sexual Orientation Disparities in Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in a Longitudinal Cohort of U.S. Males and Females. LGBT Health. 2017 06; 4(3):202-209. View abstract
  38. Decrements in health-related quality of life associated with gender nonconformity among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Qual Life Res. 2017 08; 26(8):2129-2138. View abstract
  39. Changes in Reported Sexual Orientation Following US States Recognition of Same-Sex Couples. Am J Public Health. 2016 Dec; 106(12):2202-2204. View abstract
  40. Sexual orientation identity disparities in human papillomavirus vaccination initiation and completion among young adult US women and men. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 10; 27(10):1187-96. View abstract
  41. A prospective study of oral contraceptive use and colorectal adenomas. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 06; 27(6):749-57. View abstract
  42. Disparities by Sexual Orientation in Frequent Engagement in Cancer-Related Risk Behaviors: A 12-Year Follow-Up. Am J Public Health. 2016 Apr; 106(4):698-706. View abstract
  43. Maternal use of oral contraceptives and risk of birth defects in Denmark: prospective, nationwide cohort study. BMJ. 2016 Jan 06; 352:h6712. View abstract
  44. Oral contraceptive use and colorectal cancer in the Nurses' Health Study I and II. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Aug; 24(8):1214-21. View abstract
  45. Oral contraceptive use and mortality after 36 years of follow-up in the Nurses' Health Study: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Oct 31; 349:g6356. View abstract
  46. A cervical abnormality risk prediction model: can we use clinical information to predict which patients with ASCUS/LSIL Pap tests will develop CIN 2/3 or AIS? J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2013 Jul; 17(3):242-7. View abstract
  47. Sexual orientation differences in teen pregnancy and hormonal contraceptive use: an examination across 2 generations. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Sep; 209(3):204.e1-8. View abstract
  48. Influence of hormonal contraceptive use and health beliefs on sexual orientation disparities in Papanicolaou test use. Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb; 104(2):319-25. View abstract
  49. Reproductive health screening disparities and sexual orientation in a cohort study of U.S. adolescent and young adult females. J Adolesc Health. 2011 Nov; 49(5):505-10. View abstract
  50. J of Sex Res. Diseased and damaged: a review of Damaged Goods? Women Living with Incurable Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2009; 4(47):405-407. View abstract
  51. Sex, gender, and love on a global scale: a review of Love and Globalization: Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World. J of Sex Res. 2008; 4(45):399-401. View abstract
  52. Practical progressive: how to build a twenty-first century political movement, Payne, E (ed). The conservative infrastructure. 2008. View abstract