From Homosexinfo

Origin-Updates: The Nature of Homosexuality: Chapter 3 Updates

 Updates Contents

Some passages concerning self-esteem and so-called internalized homophobia have been added to Section 3.7 and it is somewhat better organized.


Section 3.0 (Introduction)

In 1999, Fergusson et al. reported worsened mental health among nonheterosexuals in a longitudinal birth cohort study from New Zealand. Recently (2005), they have reported additional follow-up data with a more sophisticated assessment of sexual orientation.(1) They enquired about self-identified sexual orientation and homosexual behavior at age 21 and age 25 and also enquired about same-sex attraction at age 25 (see Table 1), and subjected the sexuality data to latent class analysis, whereby the participants were assigned -- with 98.7% accuracy -- to a 3-class model: exclusively heterosexual, predominantly heterosexual (with some homosexual behavior or attraction), and predominantly homosexual.

From Fergusson et al. (2005) on the mental health of homosexuals and bisexuals.
Table 1. “Distribution of observed responses to questions relating to sexual orientation at ages 21 and 25 years.”

The nonheterosexuals had a higher prevalence of mental disorders, with the predominantly homosexual being worse off than the predominantly heterosexual except for alcohol problems, and this pattern was more pronounced among men (Table 2). Among men, compared to exclusively heterosexual individuals, the average rate of mental problems was 2.6-fold greater among the predominantly heterosexual and 5-fold greater among the predominantly homosexual. Among women, compared to exclusively heterosexual individuals, the average rate of mental problems was 1.8-fold greater among the predominantly heterosexual and 2.3-fold greater among the predominantly homosexual.

From Fergusson et al. (2005) on the mental health of homosexuals and bisexuals.
Table2. “Rates ( % ) of mental health problems ( 21–25 years ) by latent class sexual orientation and gender.”

Controlling for a large number of individual and sociofamilial characteristics related to sexual orientation -- such as family instability, childhood physical/sexual abuse, parental attachment, parental criminality, illegal drug use by parents, and novelty seeking -- hardly affected the picture (Table 3). Additionally, hardly any of the nonheterosexuals that are predominantly heterosexual in this study would have presented themselves as homosexual or bisexual to others and thereby ended up being discriminated against as a result of their nonheterosexuality. Moreover, homosexuality is better tolerated in New Zealand compared to the U.S. Therefore, the evidence from this study adds to the growing literature on elevated psychiatric morbidity among nonheterosexuals that is mostly unaccounted for in terms of stigma, prejudice and victimization.

From Fergusson et al. (2005) on the mental health of homosexuals and bisexuals.
Table3. Table 3. “Rates (%) of mental health problems ( 21–25 years ) by latent class sexual orientation and gender after adjustment for covariates.” Superscript a => Test of significance of main effect of sexual orientation. Superscript b => Test of significance of gender x sexual orientation interaction. Superscript c => Significant covariates: 1 = gender; 2 = sexual abuse (0–16 years); 3 = physical abuse (0–16 years); 4 = parental illicit drug use (11 years); 5 = novelty seeking (16 years); 6 = parental criminality (15 years); 7 = parental attachment (15 years).

References:

  1. D. M. Fergusson, L. J. Horwood, E. M. Ridder, A. L. Beautrais, Psychol Med 35, 971 (Jul, 2005).

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