Concordia ("harmony"): goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony.
February 4, 2011 10:24 AM Subscribe
Physiological Impacts of Homophobia.
posted by VikingSword (44 comments total)
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'New research from Concordia University suggests that the stress of being rejected or victimized because of sexual orientation may disrupt hormonal responses in lesbians, gays and bisexuals. ''Compared to their heterosexual peers, suicide rates are up to 14 times higher among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school and college students''Michael Benibgui, who led this investigation says abnormal cortisol activity in LGB youth, combined with the vicious cycle of stress, could be further influenced by a complex set of biological, psychological and social factors. “This study shows a clear relation between abnormal cortisol levels and environmental stressors related to homophobia,” he says.'
'Benibgui also identified protective factors that can help safeguard mental health in young gays, lesbians and bisexuals. His research confirms that social support from parents and peers have protective effects.
“LGB young adults who experienced more homophobic discrimination, yet felt accepted and supported by their peers, showed very few symptoms of depression,” he says.
These findings underline the impact – both physical and mental – that homophobia may have on LGB young adults. “The effect on mental health of bullying in schools has received much attention,” says Benibgui. “Our study supports the notion that homophobic bullying can lead to physical and mental health problems.” '
'Preventative interventions are needed to protect vulnerable lesbian, gay or bisexual youth, Benibgui stresses, to discourage homophobic and heterosexist behaviours from peers and communities.
Paul Hastings, a former Concordia psychology professor who supervised Benibgui’s thesis research, says this study should push the conversation about the impact of homophobia. '