Perceived Antigay Discrimination and Physical Health Outcomes

David M. Huebner, Mary Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Theories of minority stress posit that experiences of discrimination are stressful events with the potential to cause mental and physical illness. Although some empirical studies have demonstrated a positive linear association between perceived discrimination and a variety of health outcomes, 2 studies of African Americans have revealed that those of lower occupational status who report no discrimination have higher tonic blood pressure compared with those who report modest amounts of discrimination. The authors of the present study sought to determine if this provocative pattern of findings could be replicated using a different population and different health outcomes. Design: Gay and bisexual men (n = 361) were recruited through outreach to venues and community events and through advertising in local publications. They responded to survey questions using a self-administered paper questionnaire, the Internet, or a telephone. Main Outcome Measures: Men self-reported their frequency of nonprescription medication use, number of physician visits, and number of sick days from work during the past year. Results: Perceived discrimination interacted with participant education, yielding an association between discrimination and health outcomes that was curvilinear (U-shaped) among men with lower education and an association that was positive among men with relatively higher education. Conclusion: This unusual pattern of results in gay and bisexual men replicates the findings from previous research with African American men and suggests that failing to recognize or acknowledge discrimination can have negative health consequences for some individuals from marginalized groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

Keywords

  • gay and bisexual men
  • male homosexuality
  • social discrimination
  • social epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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