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Internalized Homophobia and Relationship Quality among Lesbians, Gay guys, and Bisexuals

David M. Frost

City University of the latest York – Graduate class and University Center


We examined the associations between internalized homophobia, outness, community connectedness, depressive signs, and relationship quality among a diverse community test of 396 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. Structural equation models indicated that internalized homophobia had been connected with greater relationship dilemmas both generally speaking and among combined individuals separate of community and outness connectedness. Depressive signs mediated the relationship between internalized homophobia and relationship dilemmas. This research improves present understandings regarding the relationship between internalized homophobia and relationship quality by identifying between your ramifications of the core construct of internalized homophobia and its own correlates and results. The findings are of help for counselors thinking about interventions and therapy methods to assist LGB individuals deal with internalized homophobia and relationship issues.

Internalized homophobia represents “the homosexual person’s way of negative social attitudes toward the self” (Meyer & Dean, 1998, p. 161) as well as in its extreme kinds, it could resulted in rejection of one’s orientation that is sexual. Internalized homophobia is further seen as a an intrapsychic conflict between experiences of same-sex love or desire and experiencing a need become heterosexual (Herek, 2004). Theories of identification development among lesbians, homosexual males, and bisexuals (LGB) declare that internalized homophobia is usually skilled along the way of LGB identification development and overcoming internalized homophobia is necessary to the growth of a wholesome self-concept (Cass, 1979; Fingerhut, Peplau, & Hgavami, 2005; Mayfield, 2001; Rowen & Malcolm, 2002; Troiden, 1979; 1989). Also, internalized homophobia may not be entirely overcome, therefore it may impact LGB people very long after being released (Gonsiorek, 1988). Studies have shown that internalized homophobia includes a impact that is negative LGBs’ global self-concept including psychological state and well being (Allen & Oleson, 1999; Herek, Cogan, Gillis, & Glunt, 1998; Meyer & Dean, 1998; Rowen & Malcolm, 2002).

Current research on internalized homophobia and health that is mental used a minority anxiety perspective (DiPlacido, 1998; Meyer 1995; 2003a). Stress concept posits that stressors are any facets or conditions that lead to improve and need adaptation by individuals (Dohrenwend, 1998; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Pearlin, 1999). Meyer (2003a, b) has extended this to talk about minority stressors, which stress people that are in a disadvantaged position that is social they might require adaptation to an inhospitable social environment, like the LGB person’s heterosexist social environment (Meyer, Schwartz, & Frost, 2008). In a meta-analytic report about the epidemiology of psychological state problems among heterosexual and LGB people Meyer (2003a) demonstrated differences when considering heterosexual and LGB individuals and attributed these differences to minority anxiety processes.

Meyer (2003a) has defined minority stress processes along a continuum of proximity towards the self. Stressors many distal to your self are objective stressors—events and conditions that happen whatever the individual’s faculties or actions. These stressors are based in the heterosexist environment, such as prevailing anti-gay stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination for the LGB person. These result in more proximal stressors that incorporate, to different levels, the person’s assessment of this environment as threatening, such as for instance objectives of rejection and concealment of one’s orientation that is sexual an endeavor to handle stigma. Many proximal into the self is internalized homophobia: the internalizations of heterosexist social attitudes and their application to self that is one’s. Coping efforts are really a part that is central of stress model and Meyer has noted that, because it relates to minority anxiety, people check out other people and areas of their minority communities to be able to deal with minority anxiety. As an example, a solid feeling of connectedness to one’s minority community can buffer the side effects of minority anxiety.

Meyer and Dean (1998) have actually described internalized homophobia as the utmost insidious for the minority stress processes for the reason that, it can become self-generating and persist even when individuals are not experiencing direct external devaluation although it stems from heterosexist social attitudes. You will need to keep in mind that despite being internalized and insidious, the minority anxiety framework locates internalized homophobia with its social beginning, stemming from prevailing heterosexism and intimate prejudice, perhaps not from interior pathology or even a character trait (Russell & Bohan, 2006).