Mental health in sexual minorities: recent indicators, trends, and their relationships to place in North America and Europe

Health Place. 2009 Dec;15(4):1029-45. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 May 15.


This meta-analysis featuring 12 national adult studies and 16 state/regional youth studies of sexuality and mental health finds that sexual minorities--as a likely consequence of place-contingent minority stress--experience mental health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation much more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts. By interrogating the geographic variations in the findings, such as high rates of poor mental health outcomes in the United Kingdom, large gay-heterosexual disparities in the Netherlands, and lower and improving rates of both outcomes and risk factors in Vermont and British Columbia, this study asserts that policy regimes, health programming, and the ways in which sexual minorities are constructed in places all contribute to their mental health.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / parasitology
  • North America
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology