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J Homosex. 1988;15(1-2):25-41.

Alcoholism and non-acceptance of gay self: the critical link.

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College of Nursing, University of Iowa.


As part of a larger research project designed to generate grounded theory on the nature of gay sobriety, this study was designed to explore the etiology of alcoholism among gay American men and how etiology is related to gay bars or non-acceptance of gay self or both. In-depth interviews were conducted in Seattle, Iowa City, Chicago, and Oklahoma City with 20 gay recovering alcoholic men, each of whom had at least one year of sobriety. It was found that: (a) Gay bars were totally unrelated to the etiology in any of the informants, yet most thought that this gay bar ethnotheory could explain why there was a high incidence of alcoholism in the gay community; (b) none of the men saw being gay as a positive thing before sobriety, yet many didn't realize their non-acceptance until after sobriety was chosen; (c) accepting being gay as a positive aspect of self occurred only after sobriety was chosen and lived; and (d) not accepting being gay as a positive thing may therefore explain the etiology and thus the high incidence of alcoholism among gay American men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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