Those who may be unfamiliar with the technical terms used in this section [mental health aspects of homosexuality] can refer to the brief listing of basic statistical and psychiatric terminology below.

Statistical terminology

95% CI = 95% confidence that the population value lies in the given range.

Adjusted OR = Adjusted odds ratio, which is the odds ratio (see below) adjusted for demographic variables.

Effect size = a measure of the strength of the difference between two groups. Minus or plus signs indicate direction of difference, not magnitude of difference; no sign means plus by default. The value (ignoring the sign preceding it) of the effect size is interpreted as follows: an effect size (d) between 0 and 0.2 is small (d = 0.2 implies a 14.7% non-overlap between the two trait distributions compared), d = 0.5 represents a medium effect size and corresponds to a 33% non-overlap between the two trait distributions compared, and d greater than 0.8 represents a large effect size (d = 0.8 corresponds to a 47.4% non-overlap between the two trait distributions compared).
OR = Odds ratio, which is the number of times something is more likely to occur. For instance, an OR = 1.92 refers to a nearly two-fold greater likelihood of an outcome.
p < 0.05 = the probability that the difference is due to chance is less than 0.05 parts in 1, i.e., less than 5 parts in 100, or less than 5%. Similarly, p < 0.001 implies that the probability that the difference is due to chance is less than one part in a thousand. If p > 0.05, then the result is usually considered non-significant from a statistical standpoint, although it may still have some significance if there is a trend toward a difference not caused by chance.
r = correlation coefficient; a measure of the tendency of one variable to covary with another; r ranges from -1 to 1; r values close to the extremes of this range imply a strong correlation, whereas those close to the middle of this range, i.e. zero, imply little to no correlation. Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
SD = Standard deviation, which is a measure of dispersion around the mean. In a normal distribution (bell-shaped curve), 1 SD contains about 68% of the values, 2 SDs contain about 95% of the values, and 3 SDs contain about 99% of the values around the mean.


ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; a syndrome characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and short attention span, which often leads to learning disabilities and various behavioral problems; usually appears in childhood but sometimes persists in adulthood.
Affect: In psychology - feeling or emotion as distinguished from cognition, thought, or action.
Alzheimer’s disease: Progressive mental deterioration characterized by confusion, disorientation, loss of memory, impaired ability to calculate, and visual-spatial deficits. It usually begins in late middle life and results in death in 5-10 years. Alzheimer's accounts for some 60-70% of senile dementias.
Anorexia nervosa: A mental disorder manifested by extreme fear of becoming obese and an aversion to food, usually occurring in young women and often resulting in life-threatening weight loss, accompanied by a disturbance in body image, hyperactivity, and amenorrhea.
Anxiety disorders: Disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and phobias.
Axis I disorders: Disorders including but not limited to mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, impulse control disorders, and paraphilias.
Axis II disorders: Various personality disorders including paranoid, narcissistic, borderline, antisocial, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, and passive-aggressive types.
Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder where subjects alternate between depression and a manic or euphoric state.
Bivariate: Having two variables.
Body dysmorphic disorder: Excessive preoccupation with an imagined physical defect in appearance or a vastly exaggerated concern about a minor anomaly.
Borderline personality disorder: A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects; it is marked by impulsivity; it begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts such as gambling, spending money irresponsibly, binge eating, substance abuse, engaging in unsafe sex, driving recklessly, or displaying recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
Bulimia nervosa: a chronic morbid disorder involving repeated and secretive episodic bouts of eating characterized by uncontrolled rapid ingestion of large quantities of food over a short period of time (binge eating), followed by self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or vigorous exercise in order to prevent weight gain. It is often accompanied by feelings of guilt, depression, or self-disgust.
Canalization of development: Channeling of development along species-stable pathways , i.e., reducing trait variability.
Chlorpromazine: An antipsychotic agent with antiemetic, antiadrenergic, and anticholinergic actions. It depresses conditioned reflexes and reduces blood pressure.
Delusional Disorder: a mental disorder characterized by a fixed false belief.
Dementia: The loss, usually progressive, of cognitive and intellectual functions, without impairment of perception or consciousness; caused by a variety of disorders, most commonly structural brain disease. Characterized by disorientation, impaired memory, impaired judgment, lowered intellect, and a shallow labile (changing) affect.
Developmental instability: A disturbance or disruption of development.
Digoxin: A cardioactive steroid glycoside used in the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Dissociation: In psychology - An unconscious process by which a group of mental processes is separated from the rest of the thought processes, resulting in an independent functioning of these processes and a loss of the usual relationships; for example, a separation of affect from cognition.
Dissociative: Pertaining to dissociation.
DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association. Unless specified otherwise, the version referred to is the text-revised fourth version published in 2000 (DSM-IV-TR).
Dysthmyia: A chronic mood disorder manifested as depression for most of the day, more days than not, and accompanied by some of the following symptoms: poor appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness.
Fluctuating Asymmetry: The random component of bilateral asymmetry.
GABA: Abbreviation for gamma-aminobutyric acid.
Hedonic: Of, relating to, or marked by pleasure.
Hypochondria: See hypochondriasis.
Hypochondriasis: Preoccupation with fear that one has a serious medical illness even though a medical evaluation has ruled out such an illness.
Hypomania: A mild degree of mania.
Kleptomania: Recurrent impulsive stealing motivated by the “thrill of stealing” but not by an external motive such as hunger, poverty, or vengeance, and not resulting from other mental disorders related to stealing such as antisocial personality disorder or mania.
Mania: An emotional disorder characterized by euphoria or irritability, increased psychomotor activity, rapid speech, flight of ideas, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, grandiosity, and poor judgment; usually occurs in bipolar disorder.
Mood disorders: Examples - bipolar disorder, major depression, and dysthymia.
Multiple personality disorder: A dissociative disorder in which two or more distinct conscious personalities alternately prevail in the same person, without any personality being aware of the other; typically a dubious diagnosis.
Neurosis: A mental disorder primarily characterized by anxiety and not resulting from any apparent brain lesion; in contrast to the psychoses, persons with a neurosis do not exhibit gross distortion of reality or disorganization of personality. Hypochondria and neurasthenia are examples of some neuroses.
Neurotic: See neurosis.
Obsessive-Compulsive disorder: An anxiety disorder characterized by time consuming obsessions and compulsions that may cause marked distress or significant impairment.
Onychophagia: Compulsive nail biting.
Paranoia: A psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution or grandeur, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason.
Paraphilias: Intense, recurrent sexual desires bordering on obsession-compulsion and directed toward unusual targets such as inanimate objects (women’s underwear, urine, feces), animals, children, inflicting pain, or receiving pain.
Phenelzine sulfate: A monoamine oxidase inhibitor used as an antidepressant.
Psychoanalysis: A method of psychotherapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts.
Psychopath: Psychopaths are manipulative, charming, glib, deceptive, parasitic, irresponsible, selfish, callous, promiscuous, impulsive, antisocial, and aggressive individuals who have no concern for the welfare of others, experience little remorse or guilt as a result of their injurious and antisocial behavior, do not tolerate delay of gratification, and persevere despite punishment; psychopaths are mostly male and are less than 1% in the general population; approximately 11% of the forensic psychiatric population and 23% of the correctional population are psychopaths.
Psychopathy: Condition characterizing a psychopath.
Psychoses: Plural for psychosis.
Psychosis: A mental and behavioral disorder causing gross distortion or disorganization of a person's mental capacity, affective response, capacity to recognize reality, and ability to communicate with or/and relate to others to an extent that interferes with the person's capacity to cope with the ordinary demands of everyday life. The psychoses are divided into two major classifications according to their origins: 1) those associated with organic brain syndromes (e.g., Korsakoff's syndrome), and 2) those less strictly organic and having some functional component(s) (e.g., schizophrenia). Although psychosis is a generic term for a variety of insanities, schizophrenias are the most common forms of psychoses.
Psychotic: Relating to or affected by psychosis.
Pyromania: An impulse control disorder where an individual often fails to resist the urge to start fires.
Schizophrenia: A highly variable disorder characterized by disordered perception, disordered thought (hallucinations and delusions), and extensive withdrawal of the individual's interest from other people and the outside world and the investment of it in his own; a form of psychosis. Psychiatrists usually talk about schizophrenias rather than schizophrenia given the variability of this disorder.
Somatization: The process by which psychological needs are supposedly expressed in physical symptoms that do not have a detectable or known organic basis. Alternatively, it refers to the tendency to be overly sensitive to and complain of relatively mild physical problems and complaints.
Sulfadiazine: An inhibitor of bacterial folic acid synthesis, which has been highly effective against pneumococcal, staphylococcal, streptococcal, E. coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae infections, and also useful in acute gonococcal arthritis.
Taxa: Plural for taxon.
Taxon: A category discovered but not made/created by humans; the existence of taxa is an empirical question, not a semantic issue.
Tics: Repeat abnormal muscular movements or vocalizations. Muscular tics typically involve eye blinking, facial grimacing, head jerking, tongue protrusion, sniffing, hopping, skipping, or throat clearing. Vocal tics typically involve stuttering-like blocks in speech fluency, uttering of sounds or words, or obscenities (less than 10% of those afflicted).
Tourette's syndrome: A disorder characterized by repeat abnormal muscular movements or vocalizations (tics) that tend to occur in long-term-unpredictable bouts or bursts, start from early childhood, and last a lifetime, although there is some improvement in young adulthood.
Trichotillomania: A recurrent compulsion to pull out one's hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss, which is not due to another medical condition.