Is Being Queer Gay? Sexual Attraction Patterns, Minority Stressors, and Psychological Distress in Non-Traditional Categories of Sexual Orientation

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Abstract

This study examined characteristics of cisgender people who use non-traditional sexual orientation labels and investigated minority stress in these groups. Pansexual (n = 160), queer (n = 80), and asexual (n = 98) participants were compared with heterosexual (n = 1,021), bisexual (n = 1,518), and lesbian/gay (n = 2,730) individuals recruited from a cross-sectional survey. Participants were compared on sexual attraction, age, gender and childhood gender nonconformity. Hierarchical regression models with psychological distress as the dependent variable and outness, prejudice events, expectations of rejection, self-stigma, and rumination as independent variables were then tested in pansexual, queer, and asexual individuals. Sexual attraction, age, gender and recalled childhood gender nonconformity were significant predictors of group identity. Pansexual individuals were not significantly distinct from bisexual individuals in sexual attraction. Queer individuals fell between bisexual and lesbian/gay individuals in sexual attraction scores. Prejudice events and rumination were significantly associated with distress in all three non-traditional groups. Rumination scores attenuated the relationship between prejudice events and distress in all groups. These findings help characterize pansexual, asexual and queer individuals and suggest indirect effects of prejudice events on distress via rumination represent a worthy avenue for future minority stress research in these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-611
Number of pages13
JournalJOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021

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