Gays Living In Homophobic Communities At Higher Risk Of Dying Early

gay-couple-kiss-234In what is being hailed as the first study to observe “the consequences of anti-gay prejudice for mortality,” researchers have found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals living in communities with “high levels of anti-gay prejudice” have an average life expectancy that’s 12 years shorter than LGB’s living in the least prejudiced communities.

In short, homophobia is killing us. Literally.

The study, conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and published last week in the Social Science & Medicine journal, surveyed data collected over two decades from 1988 to 2008.

According to the study’s lead author, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences Mark Hatzenbuehler, PhD, there’s little room to misinterpret the data:

Our findings indicate that sexual minorities living in communities with higher levels of prejudice die sooner than sexual minorities living in low-prejudice communities, and that these effects are independent of established risk factors for mortality, including household income, education, gender, ethnicity, and age, as well as the average income and education level of residents in the communities where the respondents lived. In fact, our results for prejudice were comparable to life expectancy differences that have been observed between individuals with and without a high school education.

The study also found that suicide, homicide/violence, and cardiovascular diseases were all “substantially elevated” among sexual minorities in high-prejudice communities:

Of the deaths in high-prejudice communities, 25% were due to cardiovascular disease, compared to 18.6% of deaths in the low-prejudice communities. “Psychosocial stressors are strongly linked to cardiovascular risk, and this kind of stress may represent an indirect pathway through which prejudice contributes to mortality. Discrimination, prejudice, and social marginalization create several unique demands on stigmatized individuals that are stress-inducing.

Do you need any more reason to find a new gay-friendly hometown?

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  • robirob

    I guess some need to learn these kinds of things from an official study while others have this skill called common sense.

  • Respect4all

    @robirob: Or experience.
    Some homophobes like to justify their hatred by saying that being gay is unhealthy and that gay people die younger. Well, they’re right, and they’re the cause.

  • viveutvivas

    @robirob, the magnitude of the difference (12 years) would not follow from common sense.

  • robirob

    @viveutvivas: Why is the amount of years that important though?

    You feel bad for being treated bad. That’s not good. That’s not healthy living. Take action to change something about the bad situation even when they are only small steps at first. You will feel better with each new step you take into the better feeling direction.

    Common sense should tell you that.

    Why do some people need to be convinced by an official study or some well meaning person to take action?

  • Daniel-Reader

    So this is even more evidence that government officials who violate human rights are guilty of genocide.

  • Sebizzar

    You should never feel bad or unsafe where you live, if you do, do your best to get out of there. I strive to live by this quote “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.”

  • Mezaien

    @Daniel-Reader: Man Christianity, is one big GENOCIDE, Christian is a cult of murderers.

Comments are closed.