Is Conservative Religiousness Inherently Associated with Poorer Health for Sexual Minorities?

J Relig Health. 2022 Aug;61(4):3055-3075. doi: 10.1007/s10943-021-01289-4. Epub 2021 Jun 1.


Results of path analysis involving sexual minority participants (N = 1317) from diverse sociopolitical contexts revealed health outcomes to be associated with internalized homonegativity and the resolution of conflict between religious and sexual minority identities. Contrary to expectations, several markers of religiousness were not directly associated with either improved or worsened health outcomes for depression or anxiety. However, religious activity moderated the influence of internalized homonegativity (IH) on depression such that IH was less strongly related to depression among individuals who frequently attended religious services than among individuals who infrequently attended religious services. These findings have special salience for advancing a more accurate understanding of conservatively religious sexual minorities and directing culturally sensitive research, clinical services, and public policy.

Keywords: Health outcomes; Identity resolution; Internalized homonegativity; LGB; Religion.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Humans
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*