Bisexual Men on the "Down Low" Run Risk for Poor Mental Health
First study to look at the mental health of closeted bisexuals finds that concealment takes a toll
Bisexual men are less likely to disclose and more likely to conceal their sexual orientation than gay men. In the first study to look at the mental health of this population, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that greater concealment of homosexual behavior was associated with more symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The study published in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, examined bisexual men "on the down low," a subgroup of bisexual men who live predominantly heterosexual lives and do not disclose their same-sex behavior, a group that has not been studied to date. The researchers studied 203 nongay-identified men in New York City, who self-reported being behaviorally bisexual and had not disclosed their same-sex behavior to their female partners.
According to findings, men who live with a wife or girlfriend, who think of themselves as heterosexual, and who have a lower frequency of sex with men were more likely to conceal their same-sex behavior. Greater frequency of sex with women also correlated with greater concealment. Men with a household income of $30,000 or more per year reported greater concealment about their same-sex behavior than men with lower incomes.