Sexual Orientation and Mental Health: Are Bisexuals at Greater Risk for Depression and Anxiety?

Sexual Orientation and Mental Health: Are Bisexuals at Greater Risk for Depression and Anxiety?

Psychologists have long known that gays and lesbians have an elevated risk of depression and anxiety compared to heterosexual individuals. This health disparity is thought to be due in large part to the chronic, high levels of stress faced by sexual minorities due to their stigmatized social status.

But what about bisexual persons? Do they face similar mental health disparities? Are they perhaps even worse off due to the fact that bisexuals often face prejudice from both the gay and heterosexual communities? Unfortunately, most research on the mental health of sexual minorities has lumped bisexuals together with gays and lesbians, making it difficult to determine exactly how bisexual individuals stack up relative to other groups. However, a new review paper published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some insight.

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Same-Sex Marriage May Be Good For Gay, Lesbian, And Bisexual Health

Same-Sex Marriage May Be Good For Gay, Lesbian, And Bisexual Health

Several studies have found that when laws permitting same-sex marriage are passed, the health outcomes of sexual minorities in the local area seem to improve. This holds true for indicators of both physical and psychological well-being. Here's a review of the most provocative evidence to emerge so far supporting this idea:

First, a 2012 U.S. study found that, in the state of Massachusetts, there was a significant decrease in the number of visits made by gay and bisexual men to healthcare providers for both medical and mental health issues in the year after same-sex marriage was legalized in that state [1].

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Same-Sex Marriage Is Good For Gay and Lesbian Health

Relationship scientists have known for decades that married people are healthier and live longer lives than their single counterparts.1 However, virtually all of the research conducted to date has focused exclusively on the health benefits associated with heterosexual marriage. Given that more and more countries have started extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, has there been any effect on the health of gays and lesbians? Two recent studies suggest that there have been some positive changes.
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