Homosexuals' negative feelings about sexuality predict poor mental and sexual health

Sep 17, 2008

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have published a study showing that the degree of internalized homonegativity (negative attitude towards homosexuality) among homosexual men is what predicts poor mental and sexual health – not the act of being homosexual.

As part of attending an HIV prevention seminar, 422 Midwestern gay and bisexual men completed surveys assessing their degree of homosexuality, their degree of positive or negative attitudes towards homosexuality, and a range of mental and sexual health variables.

In all cases, internalized homonegativity, not being homosexual, predicted poorer mental health (particularly increased depression) and worse sexual health. The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.

The study helps inform the debate of whether or not being homosexual is healthy, said Simon Rosser, Ph.D., a researcher in the School of Public Health and principal investigator of the study.

"This study is a missing link in our understanding of the relationship between sexuality and health," he said. "It provides new evidence that negative attitudes towards homosexuality, not homosexuality itself, are associated with both poorer mental and sexual health outcomes seen in sexual minorities. Conversely, positive attitudes towards homosexuality are associated with better mental and sexual health."

For more than 150 years, scholars and educators have debated whether homosexuality is an objective disorder or whether societal prejudice, not homosexuality, leads to the elevated rates of depression, drug use, and HIV/STD epidemics seen in studies of gay men, Rosser said. This study tested both theories.

"Given the debates in many religious denominations about homosexuality, and in society about homosexuals and civil rights, it's also timely," Rosser said. "In particular, the old advice to gay men to fight, deny, or minimize their homosexuality likely only increases depression, greater isolation, and poorer sexual health. In short, viewing homosexuality as a disorder is not only inaccurate, it may be harmful as well."

Source: University of Minnesota

Explore further: Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

6 hours ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

12 hours ago

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

14 hours ago

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

Jul 29, 2014

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dshows
not rated yet Sep 18, 2008
This article is on homonegativity towards homosexuality. they are saying majority of people that are against homosexualithy are more depressed and have worse sexual health? i do not understand this when in nature males are looking for females. How is that worse sexual health? its only natural for females and males to reproduce.