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Keeping Sexuality Secret Takes Mental Toll on Bisexual Men
Date:1/4/2013

the study, Brian Mustanski, director of the IMPACT LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Health and Development Program at Northwestern University, said, "Bisexual groups have not been studied as much, and that is a major strength of this paper."

However, disclosing could turn out to improve bisexual men's mental health if they received acceptance from the person they told, Mustanski said. The study did not compare the mental health of men who experienced positive and negative reactions to sharing their sexuality.

The finding that the relationship between concealing and poor mental health could be due to men lacking support and having negative attitudes about their sexuality could help psychologists and counselors, Mustanski said.

"Instead of discussing disclosure, you're perhaps better off discussing their sexuality as part of who they are and building networks of accepting people in their lives," Mustanski said.

Nonetheless, Schrimshaw and his colleagues wrote in their study, encouraging disclosing can be appropriate if men have accepted their sexuality, and in cases where their female partner could be at risk of HIV or another sexually transmitted disease.

Mustanski encourages men who are having sex with both men and women and who want help to go to an LGBT center where they can find a therapist and receive health care.

More information

For more information and a directory of health care providers, visit the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

SOURCES: Eric Schrimshaw, Ph.D., assistant professor, sociomedical sciences, social/health psychologist, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City; Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., director, IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program, and associate professor, medical social sciences, psychology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; Jan. 2, 2013, Jou
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