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For one thing, she says, "these are certainly not levels of morbidity consistent with models that say homosexuality is inherently pathological." For another, the data simply don't prove either pro- or anti-gay arguments on the subject, whether it's that the inherent biology of homosexuality causes mental illness or that social stigma provokes mental illness in LGB people, she says.
Cochran believes the studies demonstrate the need for better psychological treatment for LGB people--an observation consistent with the U. Surgeon General's recommendations in his report on sexuality and health, she observes.
Researchers say these studies demonstrate the need for better, more tailored psychological treatment for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
Population-based studies Several large population-based public health studies are discussed in the November (Vol. 11) by Susan Cochran, Ph D, an epidemiologist in the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, who authored or co-authored many of the studies.
The authors found strong evidence of a relationship between the two.
Again using data from one of the large public health surveys, the team compared how 74 LGB and 2,844 heterosexual respondents rated lifetime and daily experiences with discrimination.
The team also assessed rates of mental health disorders in both groups.
"It's a breakthrough because it has traditionally been difficult to gather large samples of gays, lesbians and bisexuals due to their small numbers in the population," Cochran explains.