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. Sexual minorities, including gay men, lesbian women, and individuals who are bisexual, have a long history of persecution and are consistently targets of prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination (Tygart, 2000; Yang, 1997). The earliest accounts of violence against individuals who were known to engage in romantic or sexual practices with a member of the same gender are documented as early as 1075 BC, when the Code of the Assyrians established the punishment for a man caught having "intercourse with his brother-inarms" was castration (Arkenberg, 1998). More prominent in today’s culture is the Abrahamic law passed in 550 BC forbidding sexual relations of people of the same gender, cited in The Bible. “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13, New King James Version). Although there is disagreement among religious leaders as to the interpretation of such passages, this Judeo-Christian value remains strongly held by individuals of traditional, orthodox, or conservative faiths (CITE). Amnesty International (2001) reports more than 70 countries around the world continue to punish individuals who engage in homosexual behavior with beatings, flogging, life imprisonment, and death. Although most Western societies no longer condone violence against sexual minorities, lesbians, gay males, and bisexual persons continue to have unequal protection in the eyes of the law. (CITE and give examples) Over the span of 40 years, the laws have been slowly evolving as civil rights for sexual minorities has come into focus in the United States. The movement
2 toward equal rights and protections for sexual minorities began in the 1970s, following the successful civil rights movement for Black Americans. The resistance. legislation withholding equal rights to individuals who are LGBT in the United States is frequently supported and financed by religious organizations. Major contributors supporting anti-LGBT legislation in the United States include Focus on the Family and the Church of Ladder Day Saints (California Independent Expenditure Committee Campaign Statement, 2008). Define homophobia. Discrimination Mental health professionals have a strained history with sexual minorities. In the first edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I, 1952), homosexuality is listed as a mental illness. For more than three decades, same-sex sexual orientation has been declassified as a diagnosable mental illness within the fields of professional psychology and psychiatry. Conversion therapies were designed to help individuals with same-sex attractions live a heterosexual lifestyle. These therapies were not only unsuccessful, they were psychologically harmful and at times physically painful to patients. Although there is a significant correlation between sexual minorities and mental health problems, there continues to be a great deal of bias and confusion in the mental health field about the relationship between sexual orientation and mental health (Herek & Garnets, 2007). QUOTE FROM PAGE 354? Understanding Prejudice against the LGB Population
3 Herek (1989) pointed out that, although other racial, ethnic, or religious minorities suffer from similar prejudices, the impact of overt discrimination and intolerance is unique to gay men and lesbian women as government, religious, and social institutions often condone prejudices held against them. For example, denying gay men and lesbian women the right to marry sends the message to the public that discrimination against this particular group is, at some level, acceptable. Research has revealed differences in attitudes toward homosexuality based on factors such as gender, religiosity, and political orientation (Herek, 2002; Hicks & Lee, 2006; Schulte & Battle, 2004). The political climate surrounding views on homosexuality tend to be dependent on the population’s religious views and the resulting cultural values (Buchanan, Dzelme, Harris, & Hecker, 2001; Morrow, 2003; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2003; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; 2008). Some research has found that religion underpins opposition to homosexuality, more so than political affiliation, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status (Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2003). There are potential geographic differences in the acceptance and expression of bisexuality that may be related to religious communities. Hoburg, Konik, Williams, and Crawford (2004) noted that male heterosexual students from North Eastern colleges were more than twice as likely to admit to same-sex attraction than students attending a university in the North West. The current anti-gay movement in reaction to the recent push for civil rights creates additional hardships for LGBT individuals (Cianciotto & Cahill, 2006; Rotosky, Riggle, Horne, & Miller, 2009). Whitley (2001) reported similar findings of negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women, noting that the best predictors of these attitudes were gender (i.e., men held more
CITE). 2009).4 negative attitudes than women). 2009). disability. gay males. Jeong. Arm. 2009). Condoned negative attitudes risk being acted upon in the form of physical aggression (D’Augelli. Leone. or national origin (Department of Justice. discriminatory practices and even violence become more acceptable. Hate crimes against lesbians. Hate Crimes and Bullying Violence against lesbian. sexual orientation. 2009). 1990. White males. and sexist beliefs. bisexual. there has been a strong anti-LGBT backlash in response to increased civil rights for persons of sexual minority status (Levitt. negative attitudes toward women. (4) these crimes are typically committed by young. (3) the crime or attack is not planned in advance. gay. 1999). Ovrebo. and transgender (LGBT) individuals is on the rise (NCAVP. endorsement of gender role norms. et al. Hate crimes differ from other crimes in several ways: (1) they typically involve excessive violence. Conklin.. Anderson-Cleveland. and bisexual persons often . Some researchers believe that it is the unequal protection of rights and liberties for individuals that contribute to a homophobic and transphobic culture (The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs [NCAVP]. A hate crime can be defined as one in which the victim is selected because of his or her actual or perceived race. and (5) thee crime often involves more than one offender (Downey & Stage. color. religion. (2) the perpetrator does not generally know their victim personally. The motivation behind hate crimes is to terrorize or intimidate an entire community by seeking to injure one member of that community (Marzullo & Libman. 2003).1992). Homophobic beliefs permeate the culture of the United States so completely that most Americans recognize this homophobic atmosphere by the end of elementary school (Dworkin & Yi. Within a homophobic and transphobic culture. In the past few years.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) provides a comprehensive examination of violent crimes against lesbian. Kansas City. damaging. assault with or without a weapon. Houston. Twenty-nine murders in one year is the highest number ever reported. Anecdotal evidence . Los Angeles. In 2008. The coalition is partnership of 35 anti-violence organizations that gather detailed information concerning anti-LGBT violence in their region each year. These regions reported a 26% increase in violent acts committed against LGB men and women reported in the last two years (from 1. Michigan. MO. sexual assault.424). the regions reporting to the NCAVP include the cities of Chicago. The number of murders known to be a result of anti-LGB violence increased 28% from last year (from 21 to 29). Although. and murder. NY: and San Francisco. Reports of anti-LGBT sexual assault increased 48% in the last year (94 in 2007.579 to 2. or abusing" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Additional data was reported by Colorado. the number of anti-LGB crimes is under-reported and data related to crimes related to gender identity are not collected at the federal level. Milwaukee. Minnesota.5 occur because the perpetrators are homophobic and are attempting to send a message to the broader community. IL. the year following the violent murder of Matthew Sheppard for being an openly gay man. Sexual assault crimes against LGBT people have been on the rise the past three years. New York and Rochester. This number was matched once before in 1999. CA. 2000). TX. WI. and Pennsylvania. and transgender (LGBT) people in North America. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects data related to sexual orientationbased hate crimes. bisexual. Violence is a "physical force exerted for the purpose of violating. Columbus. OH. gay. 138 in 2008). Anti-LGBT violence reported to the NCAVP includes incidents such as verbal abuse.
Parides & Gould. Violence targeted at people because of their perceived sexuality can be damaging to their health. gay men. physical attacks) during childhood for LGB individuals has been associated with a number of mental health problems (Remafedi. The motivation behind hate crimes is to terrorize or intimidate an entire community by seeking to injure one member of that community (Marzullo & Libman.e. 2009). 2009). 1998. Shaffer. ridicule. and bisexual youths are mostly caused by cultural and institutional victimization as well as direct attacks” (D’Augelli. 1991. both psychologically and physically. Bullying “The challenges unique to lesbian. The impact of bias-motivated violence on the LGBT community is multitudinous. Hicks. Fisher. Lastly. 1995). law enforcement responding to such incidents may not perceive the crime to be hate-motivated or may not have protocols in place to report such hate crimes. Foremost. gay. Victimization (i. Farrow & Deisher. crimes against individuals of multiple minority identities can be oversimplified by the FBI and categorized as a “multiple bias” attack (Marzullo & Libman.6 provides several reasons why the number of orientation-based crimes is underestimated. In addition to individuals’ lack of reporting orientation-motivated crimes.. Rivers (1996) stated that LGB youths who experience victimization due to their . Impact of Violent Acts The abundant evidence of anti-LGBT prejudice and violence across the United States fails to appreciate the impact these crimes have on the LGBT community and the impact these hate crimes have on the whole country. Victimization of lesbian women. p. 206). and bisexual individuals (LGB) has been linked to a number of problems for the victim following the attack. LGB victims may not report these crimes to local authorities because they do not wish to be identified as a sexual minority in a police report.
victims of hate crime assaults are often blamed and characterized as deserving their attack in much the same way that rape victims (Herek. anger. 1994). 2001). This scenario may lead to further deleterious consequences such as loss of employment.7 sexual orientation are at greater risk for suicidal behavior.e. secondary victimization (i. George and Behrendt (1988) suggested that victimized LGB individuals with lower self-esteem evidence difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships. They may often find themselves in situations of discrimination from those who learned about their sexual orientation because of the attack. These findings are consistent with the notion that identity related stressors are experienced more negatively and are more closely tied to mental disorder. or relationships (Herek. Herek. child custody. 1994). along with the direct impact that victimization has on an individual. being outed) is also a problem for LGB individuals. However. anxiety. Herek (1994) also reported that criminal victimization has negative effects on the victims of such crime. exploring victimization based on sexual identity may be instrumental for understanding the relationship between same-sex attraction and mental health outcomes. and posttraumatic stress than victims of traditional crimes and participants who did not experience victimization. Gillis. In fact. . Therefore. and Cogan (1999) indicate that hate crime victims report more symptoms of depression. Some research suggests that hate crime victimization is more psychologically detrimental than traditional crime victimization. such as depression and anxiety. sleep disturbances. Further. the impact of secondary victimization may prevent reporting of some hate crimes. suicidal ideation) and interpersonal difficulties.. The patterns of victimization among LGB individuals have been compared to that of rape victims (Rivers & D’Augelli.
Specifically. 2001. Resnick. 2007.8 Victimization (i. George and Behrendt (1988) suggested that victimized LGB individuals with lower self-esteem evidence difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships. Mental Health Needs Public health research consistently documents mental health differences between heterosexual and homosexual or bisexual adolescents. ridicule. & Cogan. French. 2009). Sherry. Parides & Gould. Shaffer. the quality of their romantic relationships. 1999. Anti-LGBT stigma can be internalized by sexual minorities. Impact of Stigma and Prejudice Internalized homophobia. Teasdale and Bradley-Engen (2010) utilize the social stress model to explain the vulnerability to mental health problems that individuals with same-sex attractions have when compared to individuals with opposite-sex attractions. self-esteem. The social stress model states that mental . Rivers (1996) stated that LGB youths who experience victimization due to their sexual orientation are at greater risk for suicidal behavior. 1998). 1995). Internalized homophobia may be detrimental to an individual’s sexual identity development. 2009. Researchers in this area have long held that the poor mental health outcomes of those with a stigmatized status may be resultant from external stressors such as discrimination and internalized homophobia. Farrow & Deisher. Gillis. & Blum. 2009. Fisher.e. physical attacks) during childhood for LGB individuals has been associated with a number of mental health problems (Remafedi. Noell & Ochs. Remafedi. 1991. Hicks. & Beautrais. Horwood. Story. Szymanski. Herek.. and psychological wellbeing (Frost & Meyer. studies indicate that adolescents with same-sex attractions are more likely than those without such attractions to report mental health problems (Fergusson.
this association between mental health and sexual orientation appears to be independent of childhood sociodemographic and family functioning factors. . frequency of parental change. Oetjen and Rothblum (2000) found that perceived social support from friends was the strongest predictor of variation in depressive symptoms among lesbians. Hershberger et al.. and substance abuse disorders over the previous year. and history of parental offending” (Fergusson et al. in-depth interviews and questionnaires with both youth and adults reveal that homosexual and bisexual individuals are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report negative mental health outcomes.9 health difficulties are positively correlated with the level of stress experienced by an individual and mediated by that individual's level of social support. parental conflict. 2001. Similarly. when compared to heterosexual respondents (Gilman et al. and substance abuse (Fergusson et al. family socioeconomic scale. anxiety. 2001). Specifically.. suicidal ideation and attempts. quality of early parent–child interactions. and over their lifetimes. In addition. 878). 1998. 1999. such as depressive symptoms. (1997) found that the loss of friends resulting from the disclosure of sexual identity was a significant predictor of suicide attempts. 1999. such as “maternal age. mood.. ethnicity. Savin-Williams. Noell & Ochs. Moreover.. family size. p. Indeed the lack of social support experienced by many gay teens may be a significant predictor of mental health problems. education. Remafedi et al. 1994). Data from the National Comorbidity Study indicate that respondents who reported having at least one same-sex romantic partner had higher prevalence rates of anxiety. Vincke and Bolton (1994) found that low levels of social support associated with the gay male identity resulted in higher levels of depressive symptoms and less self-acceptance.
Cochran and Mays (2000). 2003). LGBT persons report higher rates of substance use and abuse (Cochran & Mays. 2001. Historically bisexuality was thought to be a temporary stage in adolescent development or a step towards developing a lesbian or gay identity (Firestein. found that individuals reporting any same-sex partner were more likely than other individuals to have used mental health services during the year prior to interview. gay and bisexual individuals rates of depression and anxiety are highest among those individuals who identify as bisexual (D’Augelli. using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Survey. Although LGBT individuals seek out therapy at a higher rate than the heterosexual population. while lesbians are more likely than heterosexual women to report substance abuse disorders. D’Augelli. 2006). Cochran and Mays (2000) reported that gay males are significantly more likely than heterosexual men to experience major depression and panic attacks. 2002). Bisexuality challenges the dichotomous view of gender and sexuality.10 Similarly. counselors continue to receive inadequate training in sexual minority competencies (Bidell. gay. LGBT persons are at an increased risk for suicide and self-injurious behaviors (Alexander & Clare. . Link this specifically to the problem. Lesbian. Specifically. 2008). There is some evidence suggesting that the relationship between mental health and samesex attraction is conditioned by gender. This is especially true related to training related to the unique experiences of bisexual men and women… Defining Bisexuality In research investigating the psychological well-being of lesbian. 2003). 2004). and bisexual individuals seek therapy at higher rates than the general population (Cochran.
.11 Within the heterosexual community. Sometimes their partner may feel they could not adequately satisfy their emotional or sexual needs. 2000. 1997). Herek & Garnets. Research focusing exclusively on the experiences of individuals who identify as bisexual is needed. Diamond. The need for a more affirmative approach to understanding how bisexuals experience the world is needed (Bradford. 2008). and bisexual (LGB) people has been increasing in professional literature. 2007. 2002a. 2007. Research focused on understanding the experiences of lesbian. Although bisexual individuals will continue to struggle with internalized biphobia throughout their life their bisexual identity is considered to be stable (Diamond. Bisexuals who internalize these biphobic beliefs are more likely to experience mental health problems (Herek. 1995). yet they continue to be grouped in with gay and lesbian research without considering the unique experiences and discrimination they may endure (Balsam & Mohr. This research is important to educate psychologists about the social climate regarding bisexuality and how that impacts an individual’s development (APA. 2004). 2002b). Within lesbian and gay communities bisexuality is often challenged as a valid sexual identity (Eliason. A significant amount of this research groups these three groups together and may understate important differences of each group. 2007). 2003. APA. gay. Research in the area of bisexuality is increasing. APA. Klein. 2008). partners who share their bisexuality in a monogamous relationship may be viewed as untrustworthy (Firestein.
THEORY Attribution theory seeks to understand how people interpret the world around them.12 Specifically. 2009. Individuals who perceive sexual orientation as biological or genetic in origin tend to have a more . learned. internal or dispositional causes and external or situational causes. External factors are understood to be beyond the individual’s control. 2001). Attributing a person’s behavior to their personality or character would be an example of an internal cause. further researching the experiences of bisexual individuals will inform more affirmative therapeutic interventions that are much needed for sexual minorities (APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. Causal attribution describes the causes people ascribe for people’s behavior. when a person uses an external attribution to interpret an individual’s behavior that individual may not held to the same level of accountability as the person whose behavior is interpreted using an internal attribution. whereas an external causal attribution would focus on the context of the individual’s environment to explain their behavior. attribution theory specifically analyzes how people explain other people’s behavior as well as their own. Dworkin. In this study. Another example of an internal cause of behavior would be genetics. In psychology. External attributions focus on environmental factors to understand individual behaviors. whereas internal factors are believed to be within an individual’s control. Heider (1958) describes two main explanations as to the reason for individual behavior. individuals who perceive homosexuality as a choice. In general. we will utilize Weiner's attribution theory of controllability to examine beliefs about the origins of sexual identity. According to attribution theory. or environmental tend to have a more negative affect toward homosexuals and are less likely to support policies deemed as gay rights.
Assumptions The following are the assumptions for the proposed study: 1. To what extent. 2008. Previous research has not connected attribution theory and its related bias to the additional prejudice experienced by the smaller subsets of sexual minorities. This paper is interested in the opinions of the public. 2002). It is hypothesized that self-identified bisexuals who live in urban cities will be different from those that live in rural areas. Participants will complete the questionnaires in a consistent and honest manner. Little research has been conducted evaluating the influence of geographical location. Hegarty & Pratto. Dworkin (2002) stated that it is psychologists’ responsibility to promote social justice for LGBT individuals. 2. specifically individuals who identify as bisexual. The measures used in the study assess the intended constructs. It is hypothesized that self-identified bisexuals who live in the Midwestern United States or Southern United States experience different rates of discrimination than those that live in the Northeastern or Western United States. 2001.13 positive affect toward sexual minorities and are more likely to support gay rights (Haider-Markel & Joslyn. as to the causation attribution for why some individuals are bisexual. 2. if any. . does attribution influence their prejudice or discrimination towards individuals who are bisexual? Purpose of the Study (should flow naturally from the literature discussed in the INTRO) There is a significant lack of research in the unique experiences of bisexual individuals. This study Research Hypotheses (should flow naturally from the literature discussed in the INTRO) 1. Sakalli.
. (and so on). . .14 Discrimination leads to _____________. which leads to _______________________ . which leads to _____________________.
and bisexual. This trend has persisted in modern-day research and consequently. In general. such as individuals who identify as bisexual or transgender. or exclude smaller groups of sexual minorities. 2001. MORE). The gap in research may be a resulted of the strained relationship history between psychiatry and the gay and lesbian communities. Subsequently psychologists and psychiatrists’ application or misapplication of reparative therapies further damaged the strained relationship (King & Bartlett. Research in the area of sexual minorities frequently clump sexual minorities together. Sexual minorities include. In those national studies that have collected data on sexual minority populations.. 2003. 19??). 2002). Most studies asked respondents to selfidentify and assessed their past sexual experiences. Homosexuality was pathologized by the American Psychiatric Association in the first three publications of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III.. Psychoanalytic research in the early 20th century replaced the idea of multiple nonnormative "inversions" with the totalizing concept of "homosexuality" (Sullivan. 1999). 103). most of the research reviewed in this paper use categories of gay. back that up with research. Few government health agencies have sponsored national studies to measure mental health in sexual minority populations. resulting in low statistical power (McKenzie et al.15 CHAPTER TWO LITERAURE REVIEW Brief introduction to epidemiological research in sexual minorities. The consequences of . p. lesbian. there is a lack of research on gay. sexual minorities tend to be under-sampled. lesbian. to increase the statistical power of their empirical findings. and other queer-identified individuals (Cochran..
& Nolen-Hoeksema. 2006. Sexual Orientation Because of the social stigma around same-sex orientation. The census data collected from the 2000 and 2005 United States’ census estimate there are 8. et al. Mathews. This study may help inform training in "gay affirmative" therapies and anti-bullying and anti-homophobia policies. the needs of smaller groups of sexual minorities are misunderstood and underestimate/may be missing/opportunities to help.” They also observed there was "virtually no relevant British research on [sexual minorities and mental health]" at the time of their research (Bagley & Tremblay.16 ignoring these groups in empirical research are twofold. Eisenberg & Wechsler. psychiatry. Bagley and Tremblay (2000) note a British law that "forbade the use of public funds for counseling and support of homosexual youth in schools and in some health and social service settings. public health. gay. and bisexual individuals living in the United States. 2001).. Koh & Ross. the mental health is sexual minorities is limited. 2002. anxiety. Recent national-based surveys have included items addressing the respondents’ sexual orientation. p. and suicidality (Hatzenbuehler. substance use disorders. Hatzenbuehler.8 million lesbian. Savin-Williams & Ream. 2003). but are not limited to. 111). Poor mental health outcomes liked to sexual orientation include. 2009). 2008. McLaughlin. 209. 2003. 2000. the estimated number of sexual minorities living in the United States have been inexact (Cochran. approximately 3% of the total population. and a number of other disciplines consistently link poor mental health outcomes to sexual orientation (Cochran & Mays. depression. sociology. . Sexual Orientation and Mental Health Outcomes Research in the field of psychology.
answer questions about their mental health. Story. (2003) evaluated the psychopathology and the utilization of mental health services by self-identified lesbians. comorbidity. 1998). Brim et al. and substance use disorders. An important limitation to note is that only 73 of the more than 30. and mental health service utilization.. & Beautrais. Specifically. Specifically. Public health research consistently documents mental health differences between heterosexual and homosexual or bisexual adolescents. found the LGB respondents noted significantly higher rates of mental health morbidity. MIDUS asked respondents to identify their sexual orientation. The greatest difference between male respondents who identified as gay or bisexual and their heterosexual counterparts was reported in their levels of panic disorder and depression. 1999. Noell & Ochs. Resnick.17 These observations support the empirical results. Researchers in this area have long held that the poor mental health outcomes of those with a stigmatized status may be resultant from external stressors such as discrimination and internalized homophobia. which show that the United Kingdom has among the highest prevalence of poor mental health outcomes among gay men. gays. Horwood. 2001. Cochran et al. Cochran et al. mood. Using the small sample size. used data from the MacArthur Foundation National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS. & Blum. and bisexuals (LGB) in the United States. the LGB respondents reported significantly higher rates of anxiety. Remafedi.000 repsondents identified as LGB and many respondents failed to note their sexual orientation. Cochran et al. studies indicate that adolescents with same-sex attractions are more likely than those without such attractions to report mental health problems (Fergusson. The gay or bisexual male respondents reported higher rates of current psychological distress and . and to answer questions about using mental health services that year. French. 1996) to examine the relationship between mental health and sexual orientation.
and Mental Health Outcomes Teasdale and Bradley-Engen (2010) utilize the social stress model to explain the vulnerability to mental health problems that individuals with same-sex attractions have when . 134 bisexuals. the researchers found that minority sexual orientation significantly influenced the probability of experiencing emotional stress. Social Stigma. According to the researchers. Among the sample of 1304 women (524 lesbians. were found to be three to four times higher in the LGB population when compared to heterosexual counterparts.18 retrospective reports of mental health morbidity in adolescence. researchers explored differences between lesbian. and heterosexual women regarding mental health issues in the United States (Koh & Ross). an indicator of illness severity and service utilization. Although only 2. they did constitute 7% of the group of respondents who utilized mental health treatment. The women’s level of outness also correlated significantly with past suicide attempts. Sexual Orientation. lesbians and bisexual women who were not out were more likely than heterosexual women to have reported at least one suicide attempt in their past. bisexual. they found that bisexual women were twice as likely as lesbian women to have an eating disorder. In particular. In a more recent study.4% of the respondents identified as LGB. the extreme difference between the lesbian or bisexual women and their heterosexual counterparts was reported in the rate of generalized anxiety disorder. 20% of men and 24% of women of the self-identified LGB group met criteria for two or more psychological disorders in the past year. For women. These comorbidity rates. and 637 heterosexuals). They also discovered that a woman’s level of outness correlated significantly with experiencing mental health problems. Lesbians who were not open about their sexual orientation and bisexuals that had disclosed their sexual orientation with others were more than twice as likely to have experienced suicidal ideation in the past 12 months.
family size. Noell & Ochs. (1997) found that the loss of friends resulting from the disclosure of sexual identity was a significant predictor of suicide attempts. education. this association between mental health and sexual orientation appears to be independent of childhood sociodemographic and family functioning factors. ethnicity... and . Oetjen and Rothblum (2000) found that perceived social support from friends was the strongest predictor of variation in depressive symptoms among lesbians. parental conflict. Vincke and Bolton (1994) found that low levels of social support associated with the gay male identity resulted in higher levels of depressive symptoms and less self-acceptance. and substance abuse (Fergusson et al. p.. suicidal ideation and attempts. in-depth interviews and questionnaires with both youth and adults reveal that homosexual and bisexual individuals are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report negative mental health outcomes. and history of parental offending” (Fergusson et al. frequency of parental change. Specifically. Remafedi et al. family socioeconomic scale. mood. Indeed the lack of social support experienced by many gay teens may be a significant predictor of mental health problems. Moreover. Similarly.19 compared to individuals with opposite-sex attractions. 1999. such as “maternal age. Data from the National Comorbidity Study indicate that respondents who reported having at least one same-sex romantic partner had higher prevalence rates of anxiety. In addition. anxiety. 2001. quality of early parent–child interactions. Savin-Williams. 878). such as depressive symptoms. The social stress model states that mental health difficulties are positively correlated with the level of stress experienced by an individual and mediated by that individual's level of social support. 1999. 1994). 1998. Hershberger et al.
2001). These findings reinforce the theory that younger sexual minority men and women are at higher risk for mental illness and suicidal behaviors and that "minority sexual orientation and gender atypicality are early magnets for mistreatment" (Cochran. counselors continue to receive inadequate training in sexual minority competencies (Bidell. p. Cochran and Mays (2000) reported that gay males are significantly more likely than heterosexual men to experience major depression and panic attacks. This is especially true related to training related to the unique experiences of bisexual men and women… The 12-month prevalence of suicide ideation attempts among gay and bisexual adolescent males was even higher than the lifetime prevalence among adult men. There is some evidence suggesting that the relationship between mental health and samesex attraction is conditioned by gender. when compared to heterosexual respondents (Gilman et al.20 substance abuse disorders over the previous year.. gay. 2002). while lesbians are more likely than heterosexual women to report substance abuse disorders. Cochran and Mays (2000). and bisexual individuals seek therapy at higher rates than the general population (DAugelli. Lesbian. using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Survey. 2003). LGBT persons report higher rates of substance use and abuse (Cochran & Mays. LGBT persons are at an increased risk for suicide and selfinjurious behaviors (Alexander & Clare. 2001. Although LGBT individuals seek out therapy at a higher rate than the heterosexual population. 2006). Specifically. Link this specifically to the problem.937). Similarly. . 2004). found that individuals reporting any same-sex partner were more likely than other individuals to have used mental health services during the year prior to interview. and over their lifetimes.
2002. Robin et al. bisexual youth are often two or more times as likely to experience certain negative mental health outcomes than their gay and lesbian counterparts (Robin et al.. bisexual) and the methods of identifying those categories also influence health outcome data. Bisexual youth are of particular interest because more students typically report bisexuality or relationships with/attraction to both genders rather than exclusively same-gender sexual identities. Furthermore they may contribute physical health outcomes such as risky sexual behavior and attempted suicide in adult gay men (Botnick et al. and increased risk of becoming defensively violent" (Bagley & Tremblay. 2000. increased risk of becoming the victim of violence..5% for those with partners of both sexes. 2009).. Bisexuality Bisexuality as a concept has been around since… Categories of sexuality (gay vs. 2002.. p. Drug and alcohol abuse are both the cause and effect of anxiety and depression. lesbian. Furthermore. Diaz et al. 2005).. These data suggest the need to research bisexual youth and adults as a separate group. Paul et al. Individuals with sexual minority identities who hold strong traditional religious values have the additional challenge of reducing the dissonance between these two identities (Beckstead & Morrow. 2001).. Consequently.21 These findings reinforce a "model in which being a [gay. bisexual students tend to report fewer protective factors than gay or lesbian students (Saewyc et al. 2002.5% suicide attempt rate for Vermont youth with samesex partners only and 43. . 2004). increased sexual activity risk.115). or bisexual youth] at risk of suicidal behavior involves four factors--increased drug and alcohol risk. Balsam et al. (2002) observed a 16.
Attribution Theory or Biological Determinism Causal attribution is the explanation people use to describe the cause or causes of the behavior of individuals. individuals from minority cultures struggle more with their bisexual identity (Blackwood. .' Internalized negative stereotypes impact internalized biphobia. Szymanski. When an individual's behavior or lifestyle can be attributed to a biological explanation. BIPHOBIA. A number of popular misconceptions about bisexuality stem from the belief that bisexuality. Szymanski & Gupta. 2003). personality. Allison. Strassberg. 2004. 2002. Heider (1958) describes two main causal attributions for individual behavior. 2009). 2005). and discrimination is reduced. Internal causes for behavior may include genetics. internal or external causes. & Soto. Huh? In addition to religious conflicts. since they do not fit into the dichotomized view of sexuality (Fox. 2004. MORE. Crawford. & Turner. gay community and the heterosexual community. Attribution theory is complex. Bisexuals are psychologically maladjusted. Stigma from both sides. 2000. BISEXUAL MISCONCEPTIONS. unlike homosexuality. Zamboni. Israel. prejudice.22 LGBT individuals’ response to the anti-LGBT client is dependent on a number of individual factors (Floyd & Bakeman. is not biologically determined. Gamson & Moon. Common misperceptions of individuals who are bisexual include the idea that individuals who identify as bisexual are just 'acting out. Women are believed to have more fluid sexualities than men and are considered by some researchers to be inherently bisexual (Kinnish. 2006. 2009).
cite. “Which variables… . as well as… (cite. 2001 & Hegarty. cite. The second research question was.23 Individuals who believe that sexuality is biologically determined attribute the behavior to biology and express less prejudice toward the individual. 2001 Hegarty and Pratto. 1990 Crandall et al. cite). Reseach question 2. cite) reflecting the complexity of sexual identity. Additionally. 2009 Research Questions and Hypotheses Prior researchers have clearly demonstrated the linke between sexual orientation and mental health outcomes (cite. cite. The first research question was. cite). These bodies of literature formed the basis for the following research questions and hypotheses. prior researchers have provided evidence for the relationships between (cite. Weiner.. relationships between sexual orientation and mental health difficulties brought on by stigmatization and oppression have been well documented (cite. cite. Finally. MORE. 2002 Sakalli. 1985 & Weiner. 2008 Lewis. Research question 1. “Which variables are significant predictors of prejudice against bisexuals?” It was hypothesized that essentialist beliefs about sexual orientation would be a significant predictor of prejudice against bisexuals. cite). 2002 Haider-Markel & Joslyn. 1995 (BOOK) Feather. 1996 Whitley.
etc. Instrumentation There will be an X amount of questionnaires for the participants to complete. c) Y. age.24 CHAPTER THREE METHODS Participants Individuals who self-identify as bisexual and are at least 18-years-old will be eligible to participate in the proposed study. gender. and d) Z. Informed Consent (see Appendix F). It is expected that the four questionnaires will require approximately 20 minutes to complete. The Assessment Tool One was developed as… Research Design The research design for the proposed study will be… Procedures Data for the study will be collected via an online survey. A Demographics Questionnaire was created to collect information about the participants’ sex. Assessment Tool One (see Appendix B). b) X. Participants will be recruited using… Data Analysis Data analysis will involve… Limitations . including: a) the Demographics Questionnaire. An Informed Consent was created… Demographics Questionnaire (see Appendix A).
25 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Level of Prejudice The first hypothesis was that… .
. and causal attribution. bisexuality.26 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION The present study explored sexual orientation.
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