US study: 'Sexual minority stress' risk for older gays

Published: January 20, 2012

A US study says sexual minority stress combined with age-related stress is endangering the mental health of middle-aged and older gay men.

Sexual minority stress was defined as a combination of men feeling the need to hide their sexuality or concern that others avoided them because of it.

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the survey of 200 seems to confirm findings that legal marriage for same-sex couples may confer a unique protective effect against poor mental health.

Having a same-sex domestic partner or same-sex spouse boosted the emotional health of the studied men, but having a same-sex legal spouse appeared to be the most beneficial relationship arrangement.

Lead author Richard G. Wight of the Williams Institute at UCLA: “This study shines a light on the mental health of a generation of gay men who survived the early years of the AIDS crisis and came of age on the heels of the gay rights movement.

“Whether legal marriage benefits mental health within same-sex couples in the way it has been proven to benefit different-sex couples deserves much more empirical attention, particularly given that same-sex marriage is not available in most states and was only briefly available in California in 2008.”

Full text of article available at link below –

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