According to a study conducted by the University of Frankfurt, many queers suffer from psychological stress. The reason why it is so difficult for many to enjoy their lives is the exclusion that they often experience on the part of society. To arrive at this conclusion, nearly 9,000 data records were evaluated.
Everyone defines their queerness differently
... and notices again and again in everyday life that he/she obviously does not fit "into the grid". After all, there is more than "just" homosexual or bisexual, for example. More than four percent of the people who took part in the study chose to describe themselves with terms that are used rather rarely in everyday life, but with which they can identify much better.
However, this was only a small part of a larger study, the main purpose of which is to find out how much minorities suffer from not belonging to the norm.
At the same time, the study is based on reports from the past, which also proved that people who belong to the LGBTQI+ community suffer from diseases more often than cis-people.
One term that keeps coming up with regard to the study results is "minority stress." This is further fueled by homophobia in a wide variety of settings, he said. And it is precisely from this that, among other things, there is a higher risk of suffering from a mental illness at some point or even committing suicide.
The other side of the coin
Nevertheless, there is one piece of good news. The study also showed that the feeling of togetherness within the queer community may be stronger than it sometimes seems. Among other things, it was shown that it is above all the contact with each other that gives many queers courage. Those who manage to support each other can often face the concerns associated with homophobia and the like with greater strength.
With this knowledge in mind, many people might find it a little easier to stand by themselves and their own sexual orientation.
A look at the other details of the study
The Frankfurt University study not only looked at the risk of potentially developing mental and physical illnesses as a queer person, but also at numerous other interesting "fringe" data that show how the community has changed over time.
Among other things, it showed that queers under the age of 20 are coming out earlier than their elders. In this age group, the decision to break the silence about one's sexual orientation is nowadays mainly made between the ages of eleven and 16. However, this is precisely when many homophobic hostilities take place, for example in schools and at universities. This makes it all the more important, according to many experts, to start precisely here and to educate people in the relevant areas of education and counteract bullying, discrimination and the like.
Even though there is still a lot of research to be done in this area and there are many questions that cannot (yet?) be answered, the study showed once again that the stress felt by minorities from the LGBTQI+ area often leads to a high level of stress. Exactly this is then reflected to an - in direct comparison to cis people - increased probability in physical and psychological suffering.
Since the survey was started about three years ago, it would of course also be interesting to conduct a corresponding survey again in the future and see whether the circumstances will change in the coming years and whether the situation for queers - thanks to increased educational work in educational institutions - might improve.
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