Young gay men experience high rates of anti-gay violence and harassment

June 29, 2004

A UCSF study of gay and bisexual young men in Phoenix, Austin, and Albuquerque found that during a six-month period, over a third reported experiencing anti-gay harassment, 5 percent reported anti-gay violence and 11 percent reported anti-gay discrimination.

"Our study is one of the first to use a large multi-ethnic sample to document experiences of anti-gay mistreatment over a specific time frame. One of the most alarming aspects of our findings is that those who experience violence and harassment reported lower self esteem and were twice as likely to report having thought seriously about suicide," said the study's lead author, David M. Huebner, PhD, MPH, psychologist at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS).

The study, published in the July 1, 2004 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, examined the six-month cumulative incidence of anti-gay violence, harassment and discrimination among 1,248 gay and bisexual men aged 18 to 27 from the three southwestern cities. Sixty percent were white, 30 percent Latino, and 18 percent were aged 21 or younger.

Study results according to age show incidence rates were higher for younger gay and bisexual men in the study group. Ten percent of those aged 21 or younger had experienced anti-gay violence, while half had experienced anti-gay harassment. Among all study participants who were HIV-positive, incidence rates in these two categories were similar. In addition, one out of four HIV-positive participants experienced anti-gay discrimination, while 14 percent of younger participants reported discrimination.

"We were distressed to find that those who were already most vulnerable because they were younger or HIV-positive were also most likely to experience discrimination, harassment, or violence. Overall our findings illustrate the need for empowerment and community-building programs to help young men create safe social settings and find support in the face of frequent mistreatment. The data also suggest that anti-gay policy initiatives could have serious negative mental health effects on gay men," said Huebner.
Co-authors are Gregory M. Rebchook, PhD, assistant research psychologist and Susan M. Kegeles, PhD, professor of medicine and associate director, both at UCSF CAPS. This study was funded by grants from the National Institute for Mental Health.

CAPS is a component of UCSF's AIDS Research Institute (ARI). UCSF ARI houses hundreds of scientists and dozens of programs throughout UCSF and affiliated labs and institutions, making ARI one of the largest HIV/AIDS research entities in the world.

University of California - San Francisco

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to