Why Are Bisexual Men More Depressed Than Gay Men?

Woods, M. (University of Sydney), Morandini, J. (University of Sydney), Dar Nimrod, I. (University of Sydney), Barlow, F. K. (University of Queensland)

The LGBTQ community experiences a greater burden of mental health issues than the heterosexual community due to their stigmatised social status. Within this community, bisexual men, a little researched group, tend to be at particular risk for mental health issues. Drawing from the minority stress model we examined three factors previously hypothesised to account for the poorer outcomes observed in bisexual versus gay men; internalised homophobia, concealment of sexuality, and identity uncertainty. Using two independently collected Australian online samples of gay and bisexual men (600 gay men and 120 bisexual men collected 2014, and 901 gay men and 202 bisexual men collected 2016) we tested this mediation hypothesis. Partly supporting our predictions, in both data sets, bisexual men were found to report greater internalised homophobia, were less out about their sexuality, and were more uncertain about their sexual orientation. Moreover, in both data sets, we found that increased depression in bisexual men versus gay men was fully mediated by increased internalised homophobia and greater sexual identity uncertainty among bisexual men. These findings provide support for a minority stress account of mental health disparities observed in bisexual men and identify clinical targets to ameliorate this disadvantage.

Event Timeslots (1)

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Queer Health Symposium