The Social Construction of Male Homosexuality and Related Suicide Problems
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Gay and Bisexual Male Suicide Problems: Part 7 of 7: Dissertation Abstracts - B
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Abstracts: Ph.D and Master's Theses

ABSTRACTS: Ph.D & Master's Theses - Part B (Part A)

See "Attempted Suicide" Results For Homosexually Oriented Males & Females: More Than 140 Studies!

See: More Than 250 Full Text Papers and Documents Related to GLBT Suicidality.

Changes / Additions to this resource will initially be made on - This Web Page - and here about one month later.

Meyer IH (1993). Prejudice and pride: minority stress and mental health in gay men. PH.D. Thesis, Columbia University, DAI, Vol. 54-12B, p. 6499, 284 pages.

Abstract by author: This study describes a special type of psychosocial stress - stress derived from minority status - and explores its effects on psychological distress in gay men. The concept of minority stress is based on the premise that gay people in a heterosexist society are subjected to chronic stress related to their stigmatization, and that this stress leads to adverse mental health outcomes.

The idea that stigmatization may be stressful stems from diverse theoretical orientations, but research has not shown that members of stigmatized groups have higher rates of distress than others, leading researchers to refute minority stress conceptualizations. Taking a different methodological approach, instead of comparing rates of distress, the present investigation specified mechanisms of minority stress, and directly tested their association with mental health in a group of gay men.

Three stressors were considered: Internalized homophobia, which relates to gay men's direction of societal negative attitudes toward the self; stigma, which relates to expectations of discrimination and rejection in interactions with the world; and actual experiences of discrimination and violence.

But minority groups are not passive recipients of societal oppression - against a hostile social environment, the gay community has developed positive minority coping. It was therefore suggested that sense of cohesiveness with the gay community protects gay men from the detrimental effects of minority stress.

The mental health effects of the three minority stressors, and the buffering effect of sense of cohesiveness, were tested in a community sample of 741 New York City gay men. The results supported minority stress hypotheses: each of the stressors had a significant independent association with mental health measures (including, generalized sense of demoralization, guilt feelings, suicide ideation and behavior, AIDS-related traumatic stress response, and sex problems).

Odds ratios suggested that men who had high levels of minority stress were twice to three times more likely to suffer from high levels of distress. In addition, sense of cohesiveness was significant in reducing distress, and interactive buffering effects were significant in buffering the effect of internalized homophobia.

Public health and public policy implications are considered.

Publication No.  9412815

Morrison AC (1991). Suicidal ideation and intent among HIV-positive persons. PH.D. Thesis, Brigham Young University, DAI, Vol. 52-05B, p. 2780, 86 pages.

Abstract by author: Person's with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have been shown to be at greater risk for depression and suicide than the general population. This paper evaluates the extent to which an HIV infected group of gay males is more depressed and/or suicidal, on three psychological measures and a self-report questionnaire, than a non-infected group.

The subjects were 20 HIV infected and 20 non-infected gay males. Subjects in both groups were administered the Rorschach Inkblot test, the Symptom Checklist-90-revised (SCL-90-R), the Hopelessness Scale, and the HIV Information Questionnaire (HIQ) (a questionnaire that was prepared for this study).

Results revealed that the HIV infected group had higher scores on the Suicide Constellation from the Rorschach, the Depression Scale of the SCL-90- R, and the Hopelessness Scale. These results support the idea that HIV infected persons are at higher risk for depression and suicide than persons who are not infected.

Publication No.  9131148

Nicholas, Jonathan (1998). Better to be dead than gay? A study of suicidal behaviour in a sample of gay and straight males aged 18-24. Honors thesis, Macquarie University, Australia. (Copies of the thesis may be obtained from the author at A related article: Better dead than gay? Depression, suicide ideation and attempt among a sample of gay and straight-identified males aged 18 to 24 by Jonathan Nicholas and John Howard. Youth Studies Australia Vol.17(4), 1998, 28-33. (Must scroll to locate abstract.)

Abstract by author: Research over the last ten years has consistently found a link between sexual orientation and suicidal behaviour in youth populations; estimating the rate of gay attempted suicide at between 20-42%. This research has however been criticized on methodological grounds as mostly uncontrolled and biased. Two studies examining suicide completions have found no evidence of the expected over-representation of gay youth in completed suicide figures. This study examined the rate of suicidal behaviour using a matched sample of 57 gay and 54 straight males aged 18-24. A self-administered questionnaire covering sexual behaviour, support, substance use, relationships, experience of violence current and lifetime mental health and for gay youth, experiences of coming out was administered. Gay youth had significantly higher levels of suicidal ideation and were 3.7 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth; most attempts occurring between ages 15-17. Predictors of suicidal ideation were similar for both the overall sample and gay sub-sample with low levels of paternal support predictive in both regressions. In the gay sub-sample attempters were significantly more likely to have been sexually assaulted, perceive low levels of paternal support, cope poorly at the end of a relationship experience verbal and physical violence and develop their sexual identity precociously. The findings have implications for suicide prevention activities, which need to explore how best to assist this group of young people, given that they are to a large extent a hidden population and take into account the crucial role of paternal support and sexual identity development in the suicidal behaviour of gay youth.

Additional Information: The Study examines the comparative suicide risk of 111 gay (n=57) and straight identified (n=54) young men aged 18-24. Participants were drawn from across four areas within greater Sydney. Gay identified males were 3.84 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight identified males. The lifetime attempted suicide rate for the gay sample is 28.1% compared to 7.4% for the heterosexual sample. Eleven bisexual males were present in the original sample but they were excluded from the analysis, although some information is available about them in the study.

On measures of lifetime suicidal ideation gay identified males were significantly more likely than straight identified males to:

        1) think there was no point to living,
        2) have frequent suicidal thoughts
        3) have intrusive suicidal thoughts
        4) think about how they would kill themselves
        5) have access to the chosen means to kill themselves

Attempt status was related to:

        1) a younger age of becoming sexually interested in men
        2) younger age of identifying internally as gay
       3) perception of greater levels of violence in the household the person grew up in
        4) sexual assault
        5) engaging in sex work

O'Neill MR (1998). Depression vulnerability in gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults.  Ph.D. Thesis, State University Of New York At Albany, DAI Vol. 59:04B, p. 1864, 159 pages.

Abstract by author: Research suggests that members of the sexual minority suffer from psychological difficulties in disproportionate numbers. This risk is discussed from a developmental perspective suggesting a causal mechanism in the unique developmental struggles faced by homosexuals. In the present study, specific psychosocial vulnerabilities linked to depression in the general population are hypothesized to occur at greater levels for homosexuals. These variables are the personality factors of sociotropy and autonomy, dysfunctional thinking, social support, and stressful life events.  Current depression was the primary adjustment variable. Subjects were 18-30 year old heterosexual and homosexual adults.  Homosexual subjects (N = 97) were solicited through local homosexual communities and statewide university and college organizations. Heterosexual subjects (N = 104) were subject pool participants. Two groups (heterosexual and homosexual) were based on subject self-identification; the homosexual group included subjects who identified themselves as bisexual. Correlational analyses replicate and extend previous literature. Both groups showed similar relationships between the risk factors and current depression. ANOVA and Chi-squares showed that homosexuals reported greater levels of current depression and a greater history of psychological distress and the associated mental health support.  ANOVA's did not provide support for the hypothesis that homosexuals would show greater levels of each of the general risk factors. Regression analyses failed to support that homosexuals would show stronger interactions between risk and stressful life events in the prediction of depression. At the level of specific risk factors, there was support that homosexuals posses greater levels of a 'pleasing others' personality style. Additionally, gays and lesbians showed stronger relationships than heterosexuals between current depression and a defensive personality style, an imperative cognitive style, and reliably available social support. A defensive personality style and lower levels of reliably available social support were related for homosexuals only. Lastly, discriminant analysis showed that the same risk factors associated with history of depressed mood and anhedonia for heterosexuals were associated with depressed mood only for homosexuals. Recommendations for future research regarding homosexual vulnerability to psychological distress are offered.

Publication No. 9831216

Pompeo MD (1994). A comparison of suicidality between male homosexual and male heterosexual street youth in Los Angeles. M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Long Beach, MAI Vol. 33-01, p. 98, 70 pages.

Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to compare the suicidality of 20 male homosexual street youth and 20 male heterosexual street youth and to assess the association of a variety of risk factors to suicidality in the two groups. The sample was found at two homeless shelters in Los Angeles.

For heterosexuals, the risk factors of difficulties in problem solving, substance abuse, and having been physically abused were associated with suicidality. For homosexuals, the risk factors of low self esteem, difficulties in problem solving, substance abuse, depression, and having been physically abused were associated with suicidality. Homosexual youth had higher levels of suicidality and difficulties in problem solving than did their heterosexual peers.

These findings are important for social work practice in that social workers will often deal with homeless populations and social workers should be aware of the problems of suicidality and homosexuality in these populations.

Publication No.  1357640

Porta MK (1997). The professional contributions, critical incidents, and mentoring relationships of one exemplary, female, senior scholar: a qualitative case study. PH.D. Thesis, DAI, Vol. 58-03A, p. 772, 313 pages.

Abstract by author: The primary purpose of this qualitative case study was to document the professional contributions of one exemplary senior female teacher educator across her career and to determine how these contributions have changed across time (early, middle, and later years of her career). In addition, specific contributions that have been most meaningful to her, critical incidents in her life, and the barriers and dilemmas she has faced were identified. The researcher chose to study Dr. Eleanor Guetzloe of University of South Florida.

Three primary data collection techniques were used: interviewing, document review, and shadowing. In-depth interviews were conducted with the professor, six colleagues, three proteges, and three students. The researcher reviewed Dr. Guetzloe's employment records and publications and shadowed her for twenty hours while she taught and advised graduate students. The results of this study suggested that Dr.Guetzloe meets Sternberg and Horvath's (1995) prototype of an exemplary teacher who has extensive, accessible knowledge that is organized for use in teaching.

In 1994, Guetzloe was honored as the Contributor of the Year from the International Council for Exceptional Children. In 1995, she received a Teaching Incentive Program award from the University of South Florida. Guetzloe believes that her primary responsibility is to teach. As a teacher, study participants described Guetzloe as a humorous, compassionate, fair, insightful, knowledgeable teacher. As a mentor Guetzloe provided had high expectations for her proteges, sponsored them professionally, and sometimes acted in a maternal role.

Guetzloe's service as a professor can be characterized as a life of loyalty. She has International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) for over 25 years. This loyalty is also evidenced in 18 years of service to a mental health organization known as Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS). Throughout her career, Guetzloe has researched serious topics that she thought were not being adequately addressed. Her three major research interests have been suicide, violence, and resilience. Guetzloe' s book, Youth Suicide (1989), is the culmination of 25 years of research in the area of suicide and depression.

Recently, she has been an advocate for the needs of adolescent students who are lesbian or gay.

Guetzloe has encountered barriers typical of women in academia. She has handled adversity by remaining optimistic and developing a plan to solve problems.

Publication No.  9724021

Pretorius HW (1992). A study of cases of suicide attempters admitted to the H F Verwoerd Hospital. M.D. Thesis, University of Pretoria, Afrikaans text, DAI, Vol. 53-11B, p. 5638.

Abstract by author: Suicide attempt cases pose major challenges to health care workers. The behaviour of the victim is an indication of psychological disturbance which often leads to repeated suicide attempts and eventual successful suicide. A literature study was conducted with regard to this phenomenon.

All cases of attempted suicide referred to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pretoria were studied over a period of a year. This investigation included a psychiatric evaluation and a study of details relating to each case of suicidal behaviour. In addition, suicide intent and risk were measured. The patient's stressors were also recorded.

A total of 307 patients, 86 of whom were male and 221 female, were evaluated. After 5 years as many respondents of the initial investigation as possible were traced, with the main object of obtaining information about subsequent suicidal behaviour. 205 respondents were traced, 59 of whom were male and 205 female.

Acute risk factors for repeated suicide attempts for men were: never married, unemployed and the loss of a job. Many were not living with someone with whom they had an intimate relationship. The most common chronic conditions were Alcohol- and Drug-related as well as Homosexuality and Epilepsy. The most commonly observed personality traits were Antisocial, Dependent and Inadequate traits.

Most of the women were married and belonged to a higher socio-economic class than the males, and many were housewives. Female students and adolescents were also well represented. Chronic conditions found were Alcohol- and Drug-related, as was the case with the males. Mood disorders, including Recurrent Brief Depression and Epilepsy, were prominent in the females. Histrionic, Dependent and Inadequate personality traits were frequently observed.

Suggestions for future research mainly concerned epidemiological investigations aimed at homogeneous groups as far as suicidal behaviour is concerned. Primary prevention of this problem entails identification and counselling of high-risk groups and the provision of resources to them. It is also necessary to counsel health care workers and the public with regard to the problem of attempted suicide. Secondary prevention calls for adequate treatment of these patients.

Publication No.  0572552

Rutter PA (1998).Adolescent suicidal behavior across sexual orientation: an assessment of suicidal ideation, risk, and history of attempts. Ph.d. Thesis, Temple University, DAI Vol. 59:10B, p. 5587, 75 pages.

Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to examine adolescent suicidal behavior across sexual orientation. One-hundred 17-19 year-olds were included in this sample (comprised of 50 heterosexual and 50 homosexual/bisexual/questioning youth). This study predicted the following: (a) Questioning youth are at higher risk for suicidal behavior than their peers. (b) Self-identified homosexual males and heterosexual males exhibit similar levels of suicidal behavior. (c) The level of support youth report receiving will relate to their level of suicide risk. The results of this study included the following: (a) Questioning and bisexual youth were not at higher risk for suicidal behavior than their peers. (b) Self-identified homosexual males and heterosexual males exhibited similar levels of suicidal behavior. (c) Levels of support did relate to suicidal behavior, though not significantly. Additional results suggested a relationship between age and suicidal risk. A trend was discovered suggesting that as age increases, suicide risk decreases. Grade level related significantly to suicidal behavior, i.e., higher grade level related significantly to lower suicidal behavior. This was a thorough assessment of suicidal behavior including surveys which explored suicidal ideation, plans and lethality of attempts. The suicidal risk (Beck's Hopelessness Scale; BHS, Suicide Probability Scale; SPS) surveys correlated significantly with each other, as well as relating significantly to the new surveys (levels of support and lethality of attempts). The reliability and comprehensive nature of this assessment promotes its use in future youth suicidal risk studies. In consideration of the results of this study and the underlying constructs of suicidology, this researcher is proposing a new concept for understanding suicidal risk. Moving away from the current conceptualization in which demographic characteristics suggest higher suicidal risk, this researcher offers a construct-oriented approach. By assessing youths' levels of hopelessness, negative self concept, hostility and isolation psychologists can focus upon these areas in their intervention. Treatment can then be directed to ameliorating deficits in any or all of these constructs. In this way, clinicians can intervene before a young adult's suicidal thoughts progress to suicidal attempts.

Publication No. 9911058

Safren SA (1998). Depression, substance abuse, and suicidality in sexual minority adolescents. PH.D. Thesis, State University of New York at Albany, DAI Vol. 58-08B, p. 4470, 210 pages.

Abstract by author: The present study examined the incidence of and factors related to suicidality, depression, and substance abuse in gay, lesbian, and bisexual (sexual minority) adolescents compared to heterosexual adolescents. Sexual minority adolescents experienced greater suicidality, depression, and hopelessness than heterosexual adolescents, with approximately 30% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents reporting a past suicide attempt.

The sexual minority sample also reported less satisfaction with social support, fewer social supports, and fewer positive events than the heterosexual sample. When accounting for stress, satisfaction with social support, and coping through acceptance, however, there were no longer differences in depression and hopelessness between the heterosexual sample and the sexual minority sample.

For present suicidality, when accounting for depression, hopelessness, substance abuse, stress, social support, and coping, the effects of sexual orientation also became nonsignificant. For suicidality scores that included present and past suicidality, however, the effects of sexual orientation were reduced, but still significant, when accounting for the other predictor variables.

Almost all of the sexual minority youth reported the occurrence of stressful events in the past four months due to their sexual orientation. However, the effects of stress, social support, and coping specifically for issues related to one's sexual orientation was not predictive of distress over and above general stress, social support and coping, respectively.

Implications of these findings, which include continued intervention and prevention programs for sexual minority youth, are discussed, as well as limitations of the present study and suggestions for future research.

Publication No.  9806202

Schneider SG (1989). Suicidal ideation in gay and bisexual men as predicted by AIDS-related life stressors, social support and pre-existing chronic depression. PH.D. Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, DAI, Vol. 50-08B, p. 3713, 276 pages.

Abstract by author: A high rate of completed suicide among men with AIDS raises concern that suicidal ideation may be prevalent as well among others in "high risk" groups. Of particular concern are gay and bisexual males, among whom a high prevalence of HIV infection has resulted in severely stressful life circumstances, including illness, death, and the threat of illness.

The present study investigated biologic indicators of AIDS risk, as well as AIDS-related death and illness events, among other factors, in predicting suicide intent among 798 gay and bisexual men participating in an ongoing AIDS risk study. None of those studied had an AIDS diagnosis; roughly half were seropositive. Analyses employed structural equations (Bentler, 1985). Suicidal ideation over the last six months was reported by 27% of the sample.

Among the suicidal subsample (n = 212), degree of suicide intent was directly predicted by AIDS-related life events, past depressive symptoms, and by loneliness- -which functioned as a central mediating pathway (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) of the effects of both past and current confidant support. Those circumstances particularly associated with high intent suicidal ideation were having a partner with AIDS or ARC, or multiple close friends with AIDS, or having ARC. The buffering effect of confident support was not found, and biological indices of AIDS risk (including HIV status) were unrelated to suicide intent. Among the HIV positive subgroup, AIDS-related life events and AIDS risk appraisals were stronger predictors of suicide intent.

Consistent with Depue and Monroe (1986) different models explained suicide intent among those with and without past depressive symptoms. Suicide Intent among recent past depressives was a function of past isolation and loneliness, as well as AIDS risk appraisals that were more highly determined by both AIDS- and non-AIDS- related factors.

Among those not recently depressed, suicide intent was a direct function of current AIDS- related events and confidant support. In this largely asymptomatic sample, suicidal ideation in response to AIDS-related stressors may have been coping- as opposed to distress-related.

These results should not be generalized to those with AIDS or ARC, or to those with substantial AIDS-related physical symptoms.

Publication No.  9000980

Schoenfeld EM (1991). Suicidal ideation and behavior across the human immunodeficiency virus disease spectrum. PH.D Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology, DAI, Vol. 52-09B, p. 4985, 101 pages.

Abstract by author: This study examined the level and differences in suicidal ideation and attempts among gay adults who were HIV-seronegative, asymptomatic HIV-seropositive, had AIDS Related Complex, or AIDS.

Subjects were 49 gay adult males who sought psychotherapeutic, social, or instrumental support from seven gay or HIV-focused agencies located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The instrument used in this study, a three-part self- report questionnaire, consisted of a HIV-related Symptom Checklist, The Suicide Probability Scale, and a lifestyle questionnaire. The lifestyle section was designed to assess suicide risk in five areas; family and social support, interpersonal loss associated with HIV and other illness, interpersonal suicide history, personal suicide history, and demographics.

Results of this study did not reveal differences among the diagnostic groups in level of suicidal ideation. Due to the insufficient amount of data collected from HIV seronegatives, this group was not examined. All three HIV-seropositive groups were found to think about suicide significantly more than would be expected from the general population. Additional analyses found a significant relationship between the perception of the insufficient social support and suicidal ideation.

Three subjects attempted suicide after receiving an HIV-seropositive status notification or an ARC or AIDS diagnosis. HIV-related suicide attempts, appeared to be associated with a previous history of suicide attempting, having some physical symptoms, and reporting a moderate level of alcohol consumption or drug-use within the past year.

The results of this study suggest that at no one time period along the course of HIV disease is an individual more likely than at others to think about, or act on, suicidal impulses. Clinicians should periodically assess suicidal ideation, the availability and usefulness of social support systems, and the level of alcohol and drug-use.

Publication No.  9132151

Sweet MJ (1993). Gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults: satisfaction with counseling experiences. PH.D. Thesis, The University of Wisconsin - Madison, DAI Vol. 54-08B, p. 4410, 216 pages.

Abstract by author: The satisfaction of gay male, lesbian, and bisexual college students, ages 18-26, with present and past counseling experiences was investigated, by examining the possible impact of factors such as the subjects' presenting problems and counseling preferences, counselor gender and sexual preference, the type of agency or program providing the counseling, and perceived obstacles to obtaining or remaining in counseling.

A questionnaire, the Gay/Bisexual Counseling Satisfaction Survey (GCSS), was developed and utilized in this study. Demographic variables and the incidence of depressive symptomatology on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were also investigated in relation to counseling satisfaction.

The sample of 31 research participants was drawn principally from peer support groups for gay male, lesbian, and bisexual college students. Results of the questionnaires showed a high degree of satisfaction with current peer support group counseling, and a preference for this type of counseling and for openly gay male, lesbian, and bisexual counselors or group leaders.

Sexual orientation issues and loneliness were the most frequent reasons given for seeking counseling; having had these presenting problems was positively associated with counseling satisfaction, as was receiving help at a gay/lesbian targeted program or agency. A quarter of the respondents reported perceived barriers to getting or staying in counseling, and this was also associated with higher current counseling satisfaction. There was, also, a statistical trend toward greater satisfaction with current versus previous counseling. Living outside a college residence was negatively associated with current counseling satisfaction.

Scores on the BDI were lower than in comparable general samples, and reported suicidal ideation was high. It was concluded that the population studied had a strong preference for support groups and other services targeted at gay male, lesbian, and bisexual young people.

Publication No.  9322558

Tao G (1995). Modifying high-risk sexual behaviors among gay and bisexual adolescents: evaluation of an intervention program. PH.D. Thesis, Thesis, University of Minnesota, DAI, Vol. 56-08B, p. 4273, 202 pages.

Abstract by author: This study tries to identify historical trends and predictors of high-risk behaviors in gay and bisexual youth, using Social Learning Theory as a conceptual framework, and to evaluate the Youth and AIDS Project, using cost benefit/effectiveness analysis.

Five-hundred and one male Volunteers, 13-21 years of age, self-identified as gay/bisexual or having sex with men, were recruited into the initial interview in Minnesota during June 1, 1989 to May 31, 1994. Three hundred and seventy-six of them participated in the 3-month follow-up interview.

The written instruments used in the interviews include measures of sexual behaviors, motivation, self-efficacy, knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission, and psychosocial and demographical information. Loglinear regression in trends study, covariance structure models in HIV risk reduction study, and a model of HIV transmission in the evaluation of the Youth and AIDS Project are mainly used in this study.

The findings indicate that with the increase of social supports, participants have an increase in their AIDS knowledge, but that good AIDS knowledge does not guarantee that participants change their high-risk sexual behaviors. High-risk sexual behaviors are correlated with participants' motivation, drug and alcohol use, parental relationship, AIDS knowledge, suicide attempts, and peer support. HIV risk reduction is predicted by past sexual experience, drug and alcohol use, and parental relationship.

The intervention program could limit HIV prevalence to under 8% at year 2000 if all risky gay and bisexual adolescents were recruited to program participation and educated to modify their sexual behaviors. Without the intervention, HIV prevalence is predicted to be approximately 22% at year 2000. The cost-benefit ratio of the intervention program is approximately 1:18.7.

The federal government should increase expenditures for AIDS prevention programs such as the Youth and AIDS Projects since the return to society from investment in these programs clearly exceeds their costs. Effective HIV prevention should be carried out at group or individual levels for gay and bisexual adolescents. Targeting of programmatic efforts at those who practice high-risk sex, those who have been involved in drug and alcohol use, or those whose parents have divorced would yield the greatest benefits.

Publication No.  9541367

Tuttle GE (1997). Sexual orientation, caretaker abuse and borderline personality disorder. PH.D. Thesis, Boston University, DAI Vol. 57-08B, p. 5347, 308 pages.

Abstract by author: This study examined associations between sexual orientation, history of childhood physical and sexual abuse by full-time caretakers and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Because developmental pathways of homosexuality appear to be different for males and females, sex was included as a study variable. The first question was whether or not sex, sexual orientation and abuse history were associated with BPD.

165 BPD inpatients were compared with 131 controls who had a non- BPD personality disorder. Diagnoses were made using the Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines-Revised, the Diagnostic Interview for Personality Disorders and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III and DSM-III-R. Sexual orientation was assessed by direct inquiry, chart review and clinician report. The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire was administered to assess abuse.

The second question was whether or not sex and sexual orientation were associated with abuse history. Subjects were divided into groups with and without history of abuse. A third question was whether or not sex, sexual orientation and abuse history were associated with specific borderline features among BPD patients.

In two hierarchical logistic regression models, it was revealed that female sex, history of physical abuse and history of any abuse were significantly related to BPD. However, sexual orientation and history of sexual abuse were not.

Female sex was significantly related to histories of physical, sexual and any abuse. Homosexual orientation was related to history of sexual abuse; homosexual males were 9.7 times more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have been sexually abused and the analogous risk for homosexual females was 2.8. In all models of abuse, there were no significant interaction effects.

Among BPD patients, male sex was associated with substance abuse, physical abuse was associated with quasipsychotic thought, sexual abuse was associated with treatment regressions and substance use and any abuse was associated with self-mutilation and manipulative suicidal efforts. Sexual orientation was not associated with specific borderline features.

Previous findings identifying female sex and history of abuse as risk factors for BPD were replicated. Data supported a central hypothesis that homosexuals may be at greater risk for developing BPD due to high rates of abuse.

Publication No.  9702142

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These GLBTQ Info-Pages were located at the University of Southampton from 2000 to 2003, this being the result of a collaboration with Dr. Chris Bagley, Department of Social Work Studies, University of Southampton.

Graphics are compliments of Websight West. The Synergy Centre donated computer/Internet time to facilitate the construction of this GLBT information site. Both are owned by a Chris Hooymans, a friend, and former publisher of a gay & lesbian magazine in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Chris continues to offer his expertise whenever needed and he has supplied, free of charge, the hosting of the site - Youth Suicide Problems: A Gay / Bisexual Male Focus - where a smaller - GLBTQ Education Section - is located.

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Many thanks to Wendy Stephens from The Department of Communications Media, University of Calgary.  She communicated with publishers of many academic journals (an ongoing time-consuming process) for permission to reproduce abstracts from papers and studies on these GLBT information web pages.


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