Friday, January 22, 2016


I am researching Social Dysfunction in the LGBT community, and one of the standard explanations is that homophobia causes these problems.  I have my own theory, but this paper startled me:

Overall, LGB individuals were more likely to have received treatment for mental health diagnoses and to have used anti-depressant medication compared to heterosexuals. The largest disparities were found for mood disorders among men (odds ratio [OR] for sexual orientation disparity: 3.66, 95% CI: 1.98-6.78), and substance-related disorders among women (OR for sexual orientation disparity: 4.45, 95% CI: 2.17-9.13).  Disparities in treatment for mental diagnoses were largest among adolescents and young adults, and decreased with increasing age; no sexual orientation disparities were found in the oldest age group (65 years and older). However, use of anti-depressants was consistently more than twice as common among gay and bisexual men, from early adulthood (30-44 years) and older, as compared to heterosexual men.
So did gay Swedes born before 1949 grow up in a less homophobic society than the ones born after 1980?


  1. They call it effect measure modification by age, but I wonder if there is not some interfering factor or sampling bias. The pre-49 cohort would have been all at least 26 years of age by the point when homosexuality was both politically accepted and no-longer considered a mental-illness by the medical community.

    Although this might be an indication that the homophobia hypothesis is true -- most young-people pre 1980's were encouraged to hide non-normal expressions, after the 1977 revision of Sweden's national sex-ed curriculum youth were encouraged to be "out" -- and thus more exposed to both real and perceived abuse because their youthful peers are now aware that they are non-hetero. Young people are far more mean to each other in social interactions, most full adults make some effort to be polite or at least non-confrontational when interacting with others and not inebriated.

  2. It is hard to draw any conclusions from those results. There are just too many variables not addressed.

  3. If it's hard to draw any conclusions from the results, then we know that neither the answer "more homophobia" nor the answer "less homophobia" fits the available data.

    I know which answer would typically be given if the numbers were reversed, even if the same caveats applied with respect to the number of variables.