Barriers to Care and Psychological Distress Differences between Bisexual and Gay Men and Women

  • Smalley K
  • Warren J
  • Barefoot K
  • 2

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Abstract

The bisexual community may face unique barriers to health care that affect mental health outcomes; however, previous research has not specifically compared bisexual and gay men and women on these factors. This study explored differences between bisexual and gay men and women in barriers to care and psychological distress among a sample of 2,500 bisexual and gay men and women recruited online. Bisexual men and women were more likely to report barriers to care ranging from limited availability of providers to less comfort discussing their sexual orientation with their provider. Differences in specific mental health outcomes centered on sexual orientation, but not gender. Bisexual women reported the highest levels of depression, stress, and anxiety, and bisexual men reported higher levels of anxiety than gay men and gay women. Findings suggest that the sociocultural pressures affecting barriers to care and psychological distress may be disproportionately affecting bisexual individuals, even more so than previously documented sociocultural pressures related to gender. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Author-supplied keywords

  • access
  • anxiety
  • bisexual
  • depression
  • gay
  • health

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Authors

  • K B Smalley

  • J C Warren

  • K N Barefoot

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