by Christopher Johnson and Shane Tull
A popular misconception about mental heath is that it is an absence of mental illness. However, a more accurate definition is observed along a spectrum. This spectrum allows for a definitive perspective that mental health is a state of achieved mental functioning, leading individuals to productive activities, healthy relationships, and flexibility for adapting to change and managing adversity. The presence of illness causes suffering in maintaining personal well-being, relationships with family members and others, and an inability to contribute to society. Thus mental health comes in to question. Most severe mental illness is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. However, scientists also believe that stress plays a role in the onset of pathology and the course of the disorder. The spectrum of pathology is no one’s fault.
by Roy Waller
The American Journal of Public Health has published a detailed study of battering victimization in the male homosexual community (December 2002, Vol. 92, No. 12). The probability-based sampling of “men who have sex with men” (MSM) focused on four geographical areas (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York) and resulted in 2,881 completed telephone interviews.
Based on these responses, this first-of-its-kind study determined that the rate of battering victimization among gay men in the target group (men over 18 who had engaged in homosexual activity since age 14, or who identified as gay, homosexual, or bisexual) is “substantially higher than among heterosexual men” and also possibly higher than the rate for heterosexual women, according to the study.
by Jesse Bering, Scientific American
It’s my impression that many straight people believe that there are two types of gay men in this world: those who like to give, and those who like to receive. No, I’m not referring to the relative generosity or gift-giving habits of homosexuals. Not exactly, anyway. Rather, the distinction concerns gay men’s sexual role preferences when it comes to the act of anal intercourse. But like most aspects of human sexuality, it’s not quite that simple.
I’m very much aware that some readers may think that this type of article does not belong on this website. But the great thing about good science is that it’s amoral, objective and doesn’t cater to the court of public opinion. Data don’t cringe; people do. Whether we’re talking about a penis in a vagina or one in an anus, it’s human behavior all the same. The ubiquity of homosexual behavior alone makes it fascinating. What’s more, the study of self-labels in gay men has considerable applied value, such as its possible predictive capacity in tracking risky sexual behaviors and safe sex practices.
by Diana Scholl, Housing Works
Individuals and organizations across the nation marked National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Judging by many of the articles, press releases and events commemorating the day, however, you might never guess that the highest percentage of new HIV infections in 2006 was among black gay men.
Why, even on a day dedicated to black AIDS awareness, do black gay men remain a footnote?
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Members of California’s aging lesbian, gay and bisexual population are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions, even as they wrestle with the challenges of living alone in far higher numbers than the heterosexual population, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Half of all gay and bisexual adult men in California between the ages of 50 and 70 are living alone, compared with 13.4 percent of heterosexual men in the same age group. And although older California lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to live with a partner or a family member than their male counterparts, more than one in four live alone, compared with one in five heterosexual women.
by Joshua Alston, Newsweek
The line between public and private in the Internet age became blurrier following the case of Abraham Biggs, the 19-year-old Floridian who committed suicide by overdosing on prescription medication as a populated chat room watched him via his live webcam. The voyeuristic nature of Biggs’s death is disturbing, but it draws attention to the equally disturbing rate of suicide among young black men. According to the American Association of Suicidology, the rate of suicide among black men ages 15-24 increased 83 percent in the ’80s to early ’90s. While the rate has fallen since, suicide is still the third leading cause of death among young black men, who are seven times as likely to commit suicide as black women. Dr. Sean Joe is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan who studies suicide and other self-destructive behaviors among young black men. He spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Joshua Alston. Excerpts:
NYC Up & Out is a resource for events related to culture and arts within the NCY gay community.
“Gay Pride happens everyday in NYC with new and exciting events popping up daily. We’ve designed this website specifically to provide the GLBT community with a convenient way to receive information about events and activities that are entertaining or useful or relevant to the diversity of the gay community in New York.”
by Charisse Jones / USA Today
It took the death of his twin for Roland Poindexter to realize he didn’t have to be weak, or white, to need counseling. And when he sat inside the psychologist’s office, the issues that came tumbling to light went far beyond the loss of his sister. “I remember talking about the first time somebody called me a n—–,” says Poindexter, a black television executive in Los Angeles. “I remembered talking to the psychologist about my anger over how I and other people like me were treated in college.” Poindexter is among the growing number of
middle- and upper-class blacks who are turning to therapy. Traditionally, black Americans have shunned therapy as something for white people. Instead they have turned to family, friends and the church for help in coping with life’s travails.