Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New study suggests bans on gay marriage hurt mental health of LGB people - The Sexual Continuum - Dr. Brian Mustanski – March 22, 2010 – Psychology Today

Laws that prevent same-sex couples from getting married deprive them of many benefits and privileges that heterosexual married couples have under federal and state laws. Thus, bans on gay marriage are examples of institutional discrimination- societal-level conditions that constrain the opportunities, resources, and well-being of socially disadvantaged groups. Despite the existence of multiple forms of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) populations, few studies have examined the consequences of this form of discrimination for the mental health of LGB populations. A new study by my colleague, Mark Hatzenbuehler, and his collaborators does just that…

…This is a landmark study for the understanding of how social conditions impact the health of minority people because it used national longitudinal data that allowed them to observe changes in mental health linked to the timing of a major policy change.

According to a press release by the senior author, Dr. Deborah Hasin, "Before this study, little was known about the impact of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals in our society. 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." Read complete article:

Dr. Brian Mustanski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and is an expert in LGBT health and development.

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