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#250147 - 09/18/08 08:29 AM gay's attitudes and health
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Homosexuals' negative feelings about sexuality predict poor mental and sexual health
Study: Homosexuality not a factor
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."


###
This research, which is part of the HIV prevention program funded by the Minnesota Department of Health has also been shown to be effective in reducing unsafe sex.


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#250154 - 09/18/08 08:49 AM Re: gay's attitudes and health [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
kudos! and laurels on the head of ken singer for publishing this report. now, can we get the moral majority to change their tune?

maybe i expect way too much too soon. ooops, there goes that pesky internalized homonegativity.

baby steps ron, baby steps.....

thanks again,

moi

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#250173 - 09/18/08 10:37 AM Re: gay's attitudes and health [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Great News Ken! Thanks!

Wish I had this for my lecture a couple of summers ago. I gave a lecture on multicultural inclusion in the classroom with a focus on LGBTQ students. This lecture was given to a bunch of education majors (mostly undergrads) at a very conservative college.

A student brought up the topic of using books in the elementary classroom where a character has two dads, or two mommys to make a child who comes from a gay household feel more "normal". This is a common practice in many schools.

I argued that we should be using those books anyway, no matter who the students are. Because we reserve those books for special occasions, many gay children grow up without a mental construct for who they are - they grow up in a heterosexual framework and know at an early age (6-11 years old) know they don't fit into those categories of straight male or female.

My point to the class was that being gay isn't what makes gay adolescents confused, moody and suicidal (which is where the topic of conversation had gone), but the fact that in our culture, we hide from them the social constructs under which they would identify thus allowing them to feel as a misfit, broken or even evil or bad because we won't allow such topics at school.

(Sorry, I tend to get a bit carried away by this topic...)

--Michael is stepping down from his soap box now.--


Thanks again Ken!

Michael


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