Negative feelings about sex makes gays feel low

September 18th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 18 (IANS) The traditional advice to gay men to fight, deny, or minimise their homosexuality only increases depression, greater isolation and poorer sexual health, warned a scientist. “In short, viewing homosexuality as a disorder is not only inaccurate, it may be harmful as well,” said Simon Rosser, researcher at the Minnesota University School of Public Health, who led the study on gays.

“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,” he added.

For more than 150 years, scholars and educators 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, reports Eurekalert.

Participating in the HIV prevention seminar, 422 Midwestern gay and bisexual men completed surveys assessing their homosexualtiy, positive or negative attitudes towards their orientation, besides a range of mental and sexual health variables, for the study.

The study will appear in the September issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.

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