STUDY: “Sexual Minority Stress” Damaging To Older Gay Men

A new study being published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that sexual minority stress—carrying the stigma attached to homosexuality—negatively impacts the mental health of gay men aged 44-75.

Part of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, a massive study of the epidemic in the United States, the survey was based on questionnaires answered by 200 gay men, both  HIV+ and HIV-, in 2009 and 2010.

It also reported that losing loved ones to AIDS was another factor against general well-being. As Pink News reports:

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.

We’re not social scientists, but 200 seems like an awfully small sample group, especially for a self-administered survey. But it’s hard to deny that the closet and the specter of AIDS have played havoc with the emotional health of so many of us.

What think you, readers—does this jibe with your personal experience?