Hiding Bisexuality Increases Risk of Depression

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on January 3, 2013
Experts say bisexual men are less likely than gay men to come out of the closet and declare their sexuality. Researchers say this concealment is associated with more symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Investigators from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, examined bisexual men “on the down low,” a subgroup of bisexual men who live predominantly heterosexual lives and do not disclose their same-sex behavior, a group that has not been studied to date.
Specifically, the researchers studied 203 nongay-identified men in New York City, who self-reported being behaviorally bisexual and had not disclosed their same-sex behavior to their female partners.
Study findings, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, reveal that men who live with a wife or girlfriend, who think of themselves as heterosexual, and who have a lower frequency of sex with men, were more likely to conceal their same-sex behavior.
Greater frequency of sex with women also correlated with greater concealment. Men with a household income of $30,000 or more per year reported greater concealment about their same-sex behavior than men with lower incomes.
“Our research provides information on the factors that might contribute to greater concealment among this group of behaviorally bisexual men,” said Eric Schrimshaw, Ph.D., lead author.
“Such information is critical to understanding which of these bisexual men may be at greatest risk for mental health problems.”
Nearly 38 percent of the men reported that they have not shared with anyone that they have sex with men. Only 41 percent reported that they had confided in a best friend or parent. To continue reading, click here.