Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

By B. R. Simon Rosser | Go to book overview

MENTAL HEALTH

Using the twenty-eight-item GHQ and GHQ scoring method,38 mean mental health for the NZ sample at baseline was 2.8 (SD = 4.1; range 0-22) and for the SA sample, 3.8 (SD = 5.8; range 0-23). Of the NZ respondents, 39 of 157 (24.8%) had evidence of poorer mental health.39

Comparison of mean scores on the GHQ, using the simple Likert scoring system, revealed the following differences. In comparison with the SA sample, the NZ sample had significantly lower scores in anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction, and overall total mental health.40 By the alternate GHQ scoring method, only severe depression was significantly different between the samples.41 The NZ sample scored significantly higher scores on the Anxiety and Insomnia scale at follow-up than at baseline.42 There were no other significant differences.

Overall, no significant difference in the prevalence of poorer mental health between the samples and the general (English) population was found.43 The differences between the NZ and SA samples were not consistent across scoring methods and were just discernible at an alpha level of .05.44


CONCLUSIONS

Comparison of homosexually active men with other men showed strong and consistent differences in personality. Differences in selfperception and social relationships were most marked, while the groups did not appear to differ strongly in terms of personality variables affecting power or tasks. Homosexually active men scored higher on heterosexuality and femininity, but no differences were discernible on masculinity. These differences suggest that the male norms for the ACL are in fact inappropriate for homosexually active men, and so the study's findings are included as alternative norms for homosexually active men.

Regarding emotional stability and mental health, overall it can be concluded that homosexually active men reflect the wider society, with the similarities between samples, in each case, outweighing the differences. Where differences were discerned, in general, they indicated sample respondents to be more stable than and as mentally healthy as respondents in normative samples. No evidence was found of hostility, mental health, or greater emotionality being a distinguishing characteristic of male homosexuality.


NOTES
1.
Christopher Isherwood, in Rutledge [ 1988], p. 58.
2.
See Russo [ 1987]. While the example of stereotype here is a negative one,

-54-

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