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J Homosex. 2008;55(2):185-203. doi: 10.1080/00918360802129394.

The relationship between homosexuality, internalized homo-negativity, and mental health in men who have sex with men.

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HIV/STI Intervention and Prevention Studies, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 55454, USA.


Whether homosexuality or internalized homo-negativity is the critical variable affecting the mental health of men who have sex with men has long been debated. As part of a larger study, 422 Midwestern homosexual men completed questionnaires examining degree of homosexuality, internalized homo-negativity, and depression. Logistic regression modeling identified internalized homo-negativity, but not degree of homosexuality, as significantly associated with greater adjustment depression (OR = 1.5), major depression (OR = 2.6), dysthymia (OR = 1.5), and likelihood of being in therapy (OR = 1.4). Internalized homo-negativity was also negatively associated with overall sexual health, psychosexual maturation, comfort with sexual orientation, "outness," and peer socialization. Internalized homo-negativity, not homosexuality, appears associated with negative health outcomes. Providers should promote sexual health and avoid interventions that reinforce internalized homo-negativity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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