Friday, September 17, 2010

Wellness in Adult Gay Males: Examining the Impact of Internalized Homophobia, Self-Disclosure, and Self-Disclosure to Parents - by Dew, B. J., Myers, J. E., & Wightman, L. F. (2005). Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 1(1), p. 23-40.

Made available courtesy of Taylor and Francis:


Adult gay males face significant social stigma, internalize negative societal messages related to their sexual orientation, and experience difficulties related to disclosing their sexual orientation to others, particularly to parents. Although the effects of these challenges in terms of pathology have been established, the relationship among internalized homophobia, self-disclosure, self-disclosure to parents, and wellness has not been examined. The results of a study of these variables among 217 gay males are presented and discussed.

The relationship between internalized homophobia, self-disclosure, and wellness was shown to be significant from this study and no relationship was found between self-disclosure to parents and total wellness. In addition, Caucasian and adult gay males younger than 35 reported lower levels of internalized homophobia, higher rates of self-disclosure to parents, and higher total wellness than non-Caucasian and older respondents. Although most research has pathologized the gay population and examined factors such as substance abuse, suicide, and mental pathology, the present study provided an examination of gay males in terms of a new paradigm–wellness. The results support further studies which can provide a knowledge base of counseling interventions to help gay males actualize their potential for positive development and functioning.

Jack Drescher, M.D.

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