New research examines the intersection between homosexuality and ethnicity in physical and mental health

The mental and physical health issues of people from gender and sexual minorities are well documented. In adult and adolescent groups, gay people would face greater mental and physical health risks than their cisgender and heterosexual peers. However, most documentation of queer life has involved a majority of white people. Indeed, globally, discourse on queer lives and queer issues is driven by Eurocentric and amcentric approaches and vocabularies, leaving little room for queer expression from the margins. In such a scenario, the health risks faced by queer individuals in already marginalized communities are often overlooked and overlooked.

With these factors in mind, Dr Amal Khanolkar, a public health researcher at King’s College London, sought to examine the health risks faced by people from multiple minorities. Dr. Amal Khanolkar, a public health researcher, conducted two separate sociological studies in the UK and Sweden, assisted by sociological researchers from each country in one or other of her studies. These are now published in journals LGBT health and Online clinical medicine.

The studies are important because they are the first to explore the conditions of queer ethnic minority people and identify the health risks they face. The studies highlight intersectionality as an essential framework for understanding how those who may belong to multiple minorities face oppression and risks to their well-being.

Researchers in the UK assessed the general and mental health conditions of a heterogeneous sample of over 9,000 17-year-old adolescents using questionnaires about their general health, mental health and health-related behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Their sample included both white and non-white, gay and straight individuals, and the researchers added specific questions about the health of gay individuals within ethnic minorities to their questionnaire.

In Sweden, researchers examined health and health-related behaviors among heterosexual and non-heterosexual people based on responses to the Swedish National Public Health Survey between 2018 and 2020. The sample, consisting of over of 1,50,000 people, also included responses from refugee and migrant communities. Researchers examined the responses of heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals among refugee and migrant communities.

The study in the UK found that non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people reported greater health risks in both white and non-white communities, although queer people from both sexual and ethnic minorities did not. not reported worse health outcomes than their white counterparts. Also in Sweden, gay people are said to be exposed to greater health risks than their heterosexual counterparts, both in majority communities and in ethnic minorities. Transgender people in Sweden, including those from ethnic minorities, particularly face higher physical violence than all other population subgroups.


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The results of these studies indicate that queer people from minority communities face as many health risks as queer people from white communities. Therefore, health care and public policy should include people of all races while developing guidelines for better health care for queer people.

However, people from marginalized communities may be excluded from health systems at a higher rate than their privileged counterparts. Previous research has noted that marginal populations rarely travel to clinical trials, there is little political training around public health that centers them, thus pushing them into a cycle of constant neglect and disadvantage. As Atlantic noted in a 2015 report, “Neglected by research, African American children died of asthma at 10 times the rate of non-Hispanic white children.”

Purdue’s Department of Public Health has described how racism is a public health issue. “The social determinants of health, including adverse socioeconomic conditions propelled by racism, are key drivers of health disparities. The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx communities is just the latest example of how structural and systemic racism leads to devastating health outcomes,” the department noted.

There is also a deep distrust of marginalized populations in health care itself. The Smithsonian Magazine notes in its report how pharmaceutical companies conduct questionable clinical trials in the developing world where “ethical oversight is minimal and desperate patients abound”.

Even though ethnically marginalized gay people have as many health risks as their white counterparts, when researching them and their needs, their health risks have a chance of being overlooked or overlooked. This has serious implications.

Last week, The Swaddle reported on a study of Digital Self Harm in adolescents, where researchers noted that non-heterosexual people of all races were twice as likely to report self-indulgence. -cyberbullying. Gay people may also face more instances of bullying and are reported to be at higher risk for physical and sexual assault.

The researchers point out while reporting their findings in Sweden that “public health policy should emphasize preventive measures to reduce exposure to violence and discrimination among people belonging to sexual and gender minorities, increase access to and use of mental health services and educate health professionals about higher rates of health”. and related issues faced by persons belonging to sexual and gender minorities, including those with multiple minority identities. There is an urgent need for a vocabulary and approach built around non-white populations and their sensitivities to address these issues.

Thus, public health research must be aware of populations that exist at the margins, as well as minorities that may exist within minorities. Only an intersectional approach to health care and medical research can mitigate health risks for queer people in minority communities.

Science and scientific research remain colonial in the way research is conducted and policy is formulated, leading to a deep mistrust of scientific institutions and approaches in non-white communities. Without designing an intersectional framework, the science and its benefits will reach only a few.

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