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Journal Article

Mental Health Implications of Sexual Orientation

Paula S. Nurius
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 19, No. 2 (May, 1983), pp. 119-136
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812493
Page Count: 18
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Mental Health Implications of Sexual Orientation
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Abstract

The findings of a study designed to examine relationships among four measures of clinical psychopathology (depression, self-esteem, marital discord, sexual discord), a measure of sexual attitudes, and measures of both sexual activities and sexual preferences are reported. These relationships are examined in relation to a four-group typology of sexual orientation based on self-report preference measures. Individuals are categorized as either predominantly heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual in their preferred sexual orientation. The sample (N = 689) consists largely of younger, well-educated individuals who are predominantly single and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Analysis of variance and both simple and multiple regression analyses were used to control for the effects of background characteristics of respondents. Significant mean differences among sexual orientation groups were obtained, but the prediction or explanation of clinical psychopathology based on these differences proved to be very limited. After controlling for background characteristics of the subjects, sexual orientation differences maintained significance only for depression, uniquely accounting for less than 2% of its total variance. Implications of the findings for practice by the mental health practitioner are discussed.

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