It's not easy being gay

Aug 13, 2009

Members of 'sexual minorities' are around twice as likely as heterosexuals to seek help for mental health issues or substance abuse treatment. A model of treatment-seeking behavior, described in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry supports the idea that lesbian, gay and bisexual people may have specific treatment needs.

Susan Cochran worked with a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles using data they collected from 2074 people first interviewed in the California Health Interview Survey. They found that 48.5% of lesbian//bisexual individuals reported receiving treatment in the past year as compared to 22.5% of heterosexuals. In addition, gender was shown to play a large role; lesbians and bisexual women were most likely to receive treatment and heterosexual men were the least likely.

According to Cochran, "It is well known that health services utilization is greater among women generally. Here we have shown that minority sexual orientation is also an important consideration. Lesbians and bisexual women appear to be approximately twice as likely as heterosexual women to report having received recent treatment for mental health or substance use disorders."

The researchers speculate that the causes driving this increased use of healthcare may include higher exposure to discrimination, violence, and other stressful life events. Cochran adds, "The pervasive and historically rooted societal pathologizing of homosexuality may contribute to this propensity for treatment by construing homosexuality and issues associated with it as problems".

More information: Influence of gender, , and need on treatment utilization for substance use and mental disorders: findings from the california quality of life survey; Christine E. Grella, Lisa Greenwell, Vickie M. Mays and Susan D. Cochran; BMC Psychiatry (in press); http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpsychiatry/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

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User comments : 2

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Birthmark
not rated yet Aug 14, 2009
I read an article showing that homosexual males have the same brain shape as heterosexual women, and homosexual females have the same brain shape as heterosexual males.
lesbians and bisexual women were most likely to receive treatment and heterosexual men were the least likely.

I wasn't surprised about the heterosexual men, but I thought heterosexual females or homosexual males would be most likely to go get help.
dizzy999
not rated yet Aug 17, 2009
The hairs on my neck stand up If I see two men kissing!
But my husband doesn't mind!!!

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