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Local News

Homonegativity Predicts Mental, Sexual Health

The degree of internalized homonegativity—negative attitude on homosexuality—among gay men predicts mental and sexual health, according to US researchers. As part of attending an HIV-prevention seminar, 422 Midwestern gay and bisexual men completed surveys assessing their degree of homosexuality, their degree of positive or negative attitudes toward homosexuality, and a range of mental and sexual health variables. In all cases, internalized homonegativity—not being homosexual—predicted poorer mental health, particularly increased depression and worse sexual health, the researchers at the University of Minnesota found. “This study is a missing link in our understanding of the relationship between sexuality and health,” study leader Simon Rosser said in a statement. “It provides new evidence that negative attitudes towards homosexuality, not homosexuality itself, are associated with both poorer mental and sexual health outcomes seen in sexual minorities. Conversely, positive attitudes towards homosexuality are associated with better mental and sexual health.” The old advice to gay men to fight, deny, or minimize their homosexuality likely only increases depression, greater isolation, and poorer sexual health, Rosser noted. The study appears in the Journal of Homosexuality.

National News

Men “On the Down Low” Fear Disclosure

A study of 30 black New York City men who have sex with men and women found they feared the consequences of disclosing their bisexuality, according to researchers. Indiana University sexual health expert Brian Dodge stated that some of the men feared their bisexuality disclosure put them at risk for physical and emotional harm. The US media have focused too much on moral issues surrounding black bisexual men who do not disclose their same-sex behaviors to female lovers, otherwise known as men “on the down low,” with this focus creating a stigma that interferes with effective public health strategies, Dodge noted. The findings are published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

World News

Ahmadinejad: There Are Gays in Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad conceded there are “a few” homosexuals in his country. In an interview with the New York Daily News, he called homosexuality “an unlikable and foreign act” that “shakes the foundations of society.” He was in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly. Last year, in the same city for the same event, Ahmadinejad claimed during a forum at Columbia University that his country has no gays—eliciting both laughter and boos. Human rights groups contend the country hanged two teenagers for homosexuality in 2005. Given a copy of a photo of the teens, Ahmadinejad said being gay is not a capital offense under Iranian law. “Either they were drug traffickers, or they killed someone else,” he asserted. Ahmadinejad remarked that US politicians who support gay rights have little to be proud of: “Just because some people want to get votes, they are willing to overlook every morality.”

“Sexual Cleansing” Rampant in Iraq

The improved freedom and security in Iraq do not extend to the homosexual population, who are subject to a sexual cleansing campaign, evidence shows. Peter Tatchell, human rights activist and member of the gay rights group OutRage!, wrote in The Guardian of the apparent sanctioned murder of the Iraqi homosexual population. So-called death squads affiliated with the Shiite Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, the Badr Organization, as well as the Mehdi Army of firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr, have been coordinating a cleansing campaign at the behest of several leading religious figures in Iraq. According to Tatchell, revered cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa (a religious edict) calling for the killing of homosexuals in the “most severe way possible.”

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