Sexual orientation and quality of life among university students from Cuba, Norway, India, and South Africa

J Homosex. 2009;56(5):655-69. doi: 10.1080/00918360903005311.


This article explores quality-of-life aspects among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight male and female students in Havana (Cuba), Tromsø (Norway), Hisar (India), and Cape Town (South Africa). In the period 2004-2005, a questionnaire survey on sexuality, happiness, and life satisfaction was undertaken among 339 students from the University of Havana, 144 students from the University of Tromsø, 200 students from Guru Jambheswar University, and 189 students from the University of the Western Cape. The majority of the participants were straight and, in Hisar and Cape Town, few of those who regarded themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual had engaged in sex with a person of the same gender. In all cities, straight men and women scored higher than gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons on the quality-of-life measures. Quality of life among gay/bisexual men and lesbian/bisexual women was higher in cultures with accepting attitudes toward homosexuality than in cultures with restrictive attitudes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cuba
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Homosexuality, Female / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexuality / ethnology*
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • South Africa
  • Students / psychology