Sigma Research

The relationship of Internalized Homonegativity to sexual health and well-being among men in 38 European Countries who have sex with men

Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 2015, 19(3): 285-302 (doi:10.1080/19359705.2015.1024375).

Authors: Rigmor C. Berg, Peter Weatherburn, Michael W. Ross, Axel J. Schmidt


Objectives: To examine internalised homonegativity (IH) in relation to aspects of well-being and several measures of clinical importance among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) in 38 countries.
Methods: The data were collected as part of the EMIS project.
Results: The multivariable regression analysis identified independent associations with IH for non-gay identity, younger age, being closeted, limited gay social affiliation, and sexual unhappiness. IH was also positively associated with loneliness, inability to decline unwanted sex, and being less knowledgeable about HIV and HIV testing.
Conclusions: These results provide evidence that homonegative internalisation merits consideration as a predisposing factor in several aspects of ill health.

Clinical Implications

  1. Treatment of LGB persons should address gay self-acceptance, as internalized homonegativity seems to be a predisposing factor in several aspects of ill health among this population.

  2. Therapy that is used to help LGB persons accept and integrate a gay or lesbian identity seems particularly important for younger, non-gay identified persons.


Healthcare needs, HIV, mental health, internalised homonegativity.

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