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Attempted suicide, psychological health and exposure to harassment among Japanese homosexual, bisexual or other men questioning their sexual orientation recruited via the internet


Objective: To investigate the rates of attempted suicide and its association with psychological distress, experiences of bullying and verbal harassment, and demographic characteristics among Japanese homosexual, bisexual or other men questioning their sexual orientation.

Design: A cross-sectional design using Japanese participants recruited through the internet.

Results: Of the 1025 respondents, 154 (15%) of the men reported a history of attempted suicide, 716 (70%) showed high levels of anxiety and 133 (13%) showed high levels of depression. 851 (83%) experienced school bullying and 615 (60%) were verbally harassed because of being perceived by others as homosexual. Independent correlates of attempted suicide were psychological distress, history of being verbally harassed, history of sex with a woman, history of meeting a male through the internet, disclosing sexual orientation to six or more friends and not having a university degree.

Conclusions: Mental health services and prevention programmes are needed to deal with the psychological consequences of social stigma for Japanese men who are homosexual, bisexual or questioning their sexual orientation.

  • GBQ, gay, bisexual or questioning
  • SDS, Self-rated Depression Scale
  • STAI, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
  • UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles
  • gay
  • bisexual
  • Japan
  • stigma
  • suicide
  • mental health

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