Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Living around No voters affects LGB mental, physical health & wellbeing - Australian study

The block of western Sydney seats that voted No in the postal survey
In the first scientific study of it's kind done in Australia, the conclusions are that homophobia and stigma are the cause of poor health and wellbeing of lesbian, gays, and bisexual people (LGB - the study collected no data from trans, intersex and queer). The study used data from the postal survey (how individual electorates voted) with data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. 

Ironically, as I've pointed out here on a number of occasions previously, the often poor mental and physical health of LGB people is often used as a weapon against us by the No siders, who say that our lifestyle is the cause of it all and therefore another reason why being gay is bad. In actuality it's the negative and homophobic actions and attitudes of these people that are causing the very problem they point to in our community. Talk about victim blaming!


So the data was handled thusly:

When comparing LGB and straight people in low-stigma communities, we found little to no difference in their health and wellbeing. However, differences were much larger when comparing LGB and straight people in high-stigma communities.

 It is worth stressing that our estimates come from statistical models adjusting for a host of individual characteristics (such as age, gender or education) and electorate factors (such as unemployment rates and median income) that could otherwise bias the results. The Conversation

An interactive one is at the link.

That's basically the gist of the study's findings, although there's much more summarised at The Conversation. The conclusions drawn are this:

Our findings are consistent with the notion that the disadvantage experienced by LGB people in society stems from social environments that are hostile to them.

 Even within a relatively progressive country such as Australia, the lack of acceptance of LGB people and the dearth of social support that they receive are to a large extent responsible for their overall poor health and wellbeing.

 Inclusive policies, such as the same-sex marriage provision, undoubtedly contribute to improving the visibility of LGB people and normalising their life experiences.

 But more is needed to redress the social inequality experienced by the LGB community. As our research indicates, tackling cultural forms of stigma and providing commensurate social support to our LGB and heterosexual neighbours is part of the solution. The Conversation
In short, yes, living in a homophobic community makes you sick if you're LGB. This study proves it. And if it's this bad for LGB people, then what must it be like for trans, intersex and queer?

What's more, imagine the culminative effect of having a national survey on who you are in a public vote on your human rights? In which stigma and homophobia was given a national stage? Appalling yes, and we won't forget it was a Liberal/National gov that did this to us.

If anyone's reading this who voted No, I would suggest you look at the consequences of your behaviour towards us. Especially if you're using religion to be as such. Your stance and attitudes cause our community real harm. It's a proven fact.