This study examined mental and physical health, perceived social support, and experiences with HIV/AIDS of 416 lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults aged 60 to 91. Most participants reported fairly high levels of self-esteem; however, many experienced loneliness. Most also reported low levels of internalized homophobia, but men reported significantly higher levels than women did. Ten percent of respondents sometimes or often considered suicide, with men reporting significantly more suicidal thoughts related to their sexual orientation. Men also had significantly higher drinking scores than women, and more men could be classified as problem drinkers. Only 11% of the respondents said that their health status interfered with the things they wanted to do. Although 93% of the participants knew people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, 90% said that they were unlikely to be HIV-infected. Participants averaged six people in their support networks, most of whom were close friends. Most support network members knew about the participants’ sexual orientation, and the respondents were more satisfied with support from those who knew. Those living with domestic partners were less lonely and rated their physical and mental health more positively than those living alone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science