Implications of discrimination based on sexuality, gender, and race/ethnicity for psychological distress among working-class sexual minorities

Published: November 11, 2010

Implications of discrimination based on sexuality, gender, and race/ethnicity for psychological distress among working-class sexual minorities: the United for Health Study, 2003-2004.

Chae DH, Krieger N, Bennett GG, Lindsey JC, Stoddard AM, Barbeau EM.

Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, USA. david.chae@emory.edu

Abstract

This study investigated the distribution of demographic characteristics, the prevalence of discrimination based on sexuality, gender, and race, and relationships with psychological distress among 178 working-class sexual minorities (i.e., who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) or had ever engaged in same-sex sexual behaviors) recruited to the United for Health Study (2003-2004). The results indicated considerable heterogeneity in responses to items assessing sexual orientation and sexual behavior, with a majority of sexual minority participants not identifying as LGB (74.2%). The authors found significant demographic differences in LGB identification by gender, race/ethnicity, nativity, and socioeconomic factors. In addition, LGB participants had higher levels of psychological distress than non-LGB-identified sexual minorities. Linear regression analyses revealed that reports of racial/ethnic discrimination and sexuality discrimination were associated with higher levels of psychological distress among sexual minority participants. The results underscore the need to collect multiple measures of sexuality in conducting research on racially diverse working-class communities; to consider demographic factors in collecting sexuality data; and to disaggregate information on sexuality by LGB identification. Findings also highlight the importance of addressing discrimination in ameliorating problematic mental health outcomes among working-class sexual minorities.

Leave a Reply