Study: Self-Perception Biggest Predictor of Gay Men's Health

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com September 19 2008 11:00 PM ET

A new study from
the University of Minnesota has found that the more gay
men experience internalized "homonegativity" (a negative
attitude about being gay), the more likely they are to
have poor mental and sexual health, according to
Science Daily. The study showed that
self-perception is what affects gay men's health -- not
simply being gay.

Respondents
included 422 Midwestern gay and bisexual men who completed
surveys as part of an HIV prevention seminar designed to
reveal the degree to which they were gay, the level of
positive or negative perceptions they held about being
gay, and the state of their mental and sexual health.

"In all cases,
internalized homonegativity, not being homosexual,
predicted poorer mental health (particularly increased
depression) and worse sexual health," reports
Science Daily. The findings appear in the
September issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.

"This study is a
missing link in our understanding of the relationship
between sexuality and health," said Simon Rosser, a
researcher at Minnesota's School of Public Health and the
lead investigator of the study. "It provides new
evidence that negative attitudes toward homosexuality,
not homosexuality itself, are associated with both
poorer mental and sexual health outcomes seen in sexual
minorities. Conversely, positive attitudes toward
homosexuality are associated with better mental and
sexual health." (The Advocate)