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LGB individuals less healthy than heterosexuals; minority stress contributes to health disparities

Gender nonconformity is associated with experiencing more prejudice events, less concealment of sexual orientation, lower internalized homonegativity, and higher expectations of rejection related to sexual orientation among LGB individuals.

Photo by Ruan Richard from Unsplash.com

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals are less healthy than heterosexual individuals, and minority stress endured by LGB individuals contributes to these health disparities.

This is according to a study – “Gender Nonconformity and Minority Stress Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals: A Meta-Analytic Review” by Brian C. Thoma, Kristen L. Eckstrand, Gerald T. Montano, Taylor L. Rezeppa, Michael P. Marshal – that was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

The researchers noted that “within-groups differences in minority stress experiences among LGB individuals remain underexplored. This is because individuals are more likely to be categorized as LGB if they exhibit gender nonconformity, so gender nonconformity could influence concealability of sexual orientation among LGB individuals, carrying important implications for the visibility of their stigmatized sexual orientation identity and for how they experience and cope with minority stress.”

The researchers did a meta-analytic review, examining how gender nonconformity was associated with minority stress experiences among LGB individuals. Thirty-seven eligible studies were included in analyses.

“Results indicate gender nonconformity is associated with experiencing more prejudice events, less concealment of sexual orientation, lower internalized homonegativity, and higher expectations of rejection related to sexual orientation among LGB individuals,” the researchers said.

Also, gender nonconformity is more strongly associated with experiencing prejudice events among gay and bisexual men than among lesbian and bisexual women.

Since gender nonconformity is systematically associated with minority stress experiences among LGB individuals, they recommended future researches that must measure and examine gender nonconformity when investigating the role of minority stress in degraded health outcomes among LGB populations.

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