Lesbian, gay, bisexual individuals risk psychiatric disorders from discriminatory policies

March 2, 2010

A Mailman School of Public Health study examining the effects of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals found an increase in psychiatric disorders among the LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage. The study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, is available online.

Deborah Hasin, PhD, professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and senior author, and colleagues at the NYS Psychiatric Institute and Harvard University analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Participants were initially interviewed during 2001 - 2002 (Wave 1) and again during the period 2004-2005 (Wave 2), at which time participants' was assessed.

"To address the impact of institutional discrimination on mental health, we examined whether LGB individuals living in states that instituted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage via the 2004-2005 elections evidenced increased rates of between Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the survey," according to the authors.

Among LGB study participants living in these states, the prevalence of mood disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorders increased significantly between Wave 1 to Wave 2, with the greatest increase, more than 200%, in . The prevalence of any psychiatric disorder also increased slightly among heterosexual respondents, but to a much lesser extent than their LGB counterparts.

"Before this study, little was known about the impact of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in our society," said Dr. Hasin. "The study highlights the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals."

Institutional is characterized by societal-level conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially-disadvantaged groups.

During the 2004 election and soon after, the authors note, 14 states approved constitutional amendments restricting marriage to unions between heterosexual couples.

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3 comments

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LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
They already have a psychiatric disorder (they are after all unnatural in the aspect they don't like the opposite sex-I consider this a disorder in and of itself), and it isnt from discrimination...
Fix their real disorder, and the discrimination issue is, well, no longer an issue...
JayK
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
As soon as you publish your findings, LuckyBrandon, about how homosexuality is a correctable mental disorder you should post it in one of these threads where you've crapped your opinion all over. Otherwise, your opinion is worthless.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (3) Mar 18, 2010
Actually, I'd bet money that it is correctable, and I bet someone comes up with a fix for it one day.
You can always tell a queer or a queer lover by responses just like that....so which are you....

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