SCIENCE SEZ

STUDY: Lesbians Gain More Health Benefits From Coming Out To Parents Than Gay Men

Surprise, surprise: Boston University has come out with a study saying coming out to supportive parents improves long-term health for LGBTs, reports PsychCentral.com.

That’s something you probably could’ve verified personally or anecdotally, although having the weight of science behind you is always nice.

According to the study, which surveyed 5,658 adults ages 18-64 in Massachusetts:

Boston University School of Public Health researchers determined that two-thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in a representative Massachusetts sample reported receiving positive support from their parents after coming out to them.

Their incidence of mental health and substance abuse problems was significantly lower than those who did not receive support, the authors reported.

Researchers discovered 75 percent of Massachusetts lesbian, gay and bisexual adults have informed their parents on their sexuality. On average, individuals told their parents of their sexual orientation when they were 25 years old.

But one interesting, unexpected aspect of the study is that gay men were able to remain closeted with less health problems.

The authors found that the act of coming out (instead of remaining “closeted”) was generally associated with better health for lesbian and bisexual women, but that this was not similarly true for gay and bisexual men.

“It’s possible that the stress of not disclosing your sexuality to your parents affects men and women differently,” explained Rothman, an associate professor of community health sciences.

“In general, gay and bisexual men may be able to conduct their sexual lives apart from their parents with less stress. On the other hand, it’s also possible that this was an artifact of our particular sample.”

Is the nature of ladies to need to want parental affirmation for their sexual orientation, while men are more able to cope on their own, or do you think the study was flawed with some odd “artifact”?