Minority Stress and the Health of Sexual Minorities

Ilan H. Meyer and David M. Frost

in Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199765218
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979585 | DOI:
Minority Stress and the Health of Sexual Minorities

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Minority stress refers to a conceptual model that describes stressors embedded in the social position of sexual minority individuals as causes of health-related conditions, such as mental disorders, psychological distress, physical disorders, health behaviors (e.g., smoking, condom use), and, more generally, a sense of well-being. The minority stress model suggests that because of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people experience more stress than do heterosexuals and that this stress can lead to mental and physical disorders. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the minority stress model. It then discusses the domains of health and well-being that are affected by minority stressors, including mental health, physical health, health behaviors, and well-being.

Keywords: social position; sexual minority; health conditions; lesbians; gays; bisexuals; homosexuals; minority stress model; well-being; stressors

Chapter.  10257 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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