The authors gave several hypotheses to explain the finding that straight men have higher stress than out gay men, reports today’s Slate Magazine. “Some were limitations to the study. The sample size of 87 was relatively small, and the respondents were drawn via online ads and word of mouth, likely producing a selection bias—gay folks who are most at peace with their sexuality might be more willing to participate than those still struggling. Other hypotheses related to the character-building component of surviving and rejecting years of shame and stigma. Perhaps this struggle produces coping skills that straight men never need to learn.
“Or do they? One of the most important—and most maligned—contributions of both the multicultural and LGBT movements of the past decades has been how the attention to minority experiences impacts everyone, not just minorities. African-Americans are not the only ones with a race; women are not the only ones with a gender; immigrants aren’t the only ones who’ve left their homes to forge a new identity; gays aren’t the only ones with a sexual orientation—or a secret to conceal. Understanding that these aspects of identity affect us all is crucial to ensuring that they don’t govern our lives.”