- Gender nonconformity, same-sex attraction, and mental health
- Award date
- 11 October 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Research among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth indicate that gender nonconformity is associated with lower mental health, in part because of greater exposure to peer victimization. There is some evidence suggesting that gender nonconformity also affects heterosexual adolescents’ peer relations and mental health. Prior studies that assessed sex differences in the relations of gender nonconformity with victimization/rejection and mental health are inconsistent. To fill these gaps, this dissertation adressed: (1) differences between sexual minority and heterosexual youth in how gender nonconformity is related to experiences of peer victimization, and subsequent mental health outcomes; (2) sex differences in how gender nonconformity affects mental health through internalized homophobia and experiences of (homophobic) victimization; and (3) the positive influence of parental acceptance for the mental health of gender-nonconforming and sexual minority youth. The findings show that gender nonconformity was associated with lower wellbeing, in part because of greater experience with victimization. For young adolescents only, these associations were stronger for same-sex attracted youth and also stronger boys. For gay and bisexual adult men only, gender nonconformity was associated with lower mental health, because of greater exposure to homophobic stigmatization. For LGB adult men and women, gender nonconformity was associated with lower mental health problems, via reduced levels of internalized homophobia. Among boys high levels of paternal acceptance buffered negative mental health outcomes associated with gender nonconformity. For girls high levels of maternal acceptance buffered against negative mental health outcomes associated with same-sex attraction.
- Please note that the section ‘Acknowledgements’ is not included in the thesis downloads.
Thesis (Embargo up to and including 11 October 2020)
Chapter 3: Gender nonconformity and peer victimization: Sexual attraction and gender differences by age (Embargo up to and including 11 October 2020)
Chapter 5: Gender nonconformity, peer victimization, and mental distress: A two-year three-wave longitudinal study (Embargo up to and including 11 October 2020)
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