Homophobic? You'll Die Sooner
Study finds link between anti-gay bias, shorter life expectancy
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2014 8:41 AM CST
Qween Amar from Orlando, Fla., left, dances by Margie Phelps, right, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the court will hear...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – If you're homophobic, here's one reason to rethink that: It might send you to an earlier grave. A new study looked at social attitudes in America over two recent decades, compared them with death rates, and found that subjects with high levels of anti-gay prejudice had a life expectancy that was 2.5 years less than those with low levels of prejudice. Why? Researchers aren't sure, but they think homophobes may have higher levels of stress, Pacific Standard reports.

Anti-gay bias "was specifically associated with cardiovascular-related causes of death," researchers write, and "existing evidence suggests that, for highly prejudiced people, intergroup interactions are stressful. Stress in turn is associated with less healthy behavior, such as overeating, smoking, and heavy drinking." Researchers also found that anti-gay prejudice was even worse for life expectancy than racial prejudice. And the same study found a striking result among the targets of homophobia: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people living in communities with high levels of homophobia lived an average of 12 years less than those living in more open-minded communities, the Huffington Post reports.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Homophobic? You'll Die Sooner is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 186 comments
Feb 24, 2014 11:35 AM CST
This really doesn't surprise me. People who hate literally have differently wired brains. Their brains are physically different to those of people who are not overly-concerned with hate.
Lou Bernardo
Feb 24, 2014 7:38 AM CST
Homophobia is just another destructive teaching of the religionists. What gay sits up all night worrying what the straight couple next door might be doing in the privacy of their home? Some churches preach nothing but hate and teach their children to be bigots like themselves. Doubtful? Look at any demonstration of any kind and you'll see people who drag their kids along and hang signs around the neck on children too young to even read. As the song in "South Pacific" goes: "You Have to Be Taught to love or hate. You have to be taught before it's too late."
Feb 24, 2014 12:56 AM CST
The "comments" I've read so far are so bizarre I'm inclined to dismiss them - but some may take them serious so I suppose I should respond, so here goes: The arguments about "gay" lifestyle - as supposed rebuttal to the subject study, are outrageous: They quote details from a 1987 report (At the height of the aids crisis); saying ALL gays will get HIV. Of course this wasn't the case then - and much less so now. And even those who foolishly or by accident acquire the terrible virus today are living normal life times - (While still no cure, new medicines provide a normal life & longevity). As for the paranoid comments - about the study being part of the "liberal" or pro-gay agenda, etc. balderdash! If one reads the whole report - it makes much sense; for several reasons (I'm only surprised Homophobes live ONLY 2+years less!): Remember we are talking about virulent Homophobes (As opposed to people that just don't approve). The difference? - you say: Well, lots of people are really emotional about the subject - some even resort to physical - if not verbal, assault of those they believe to be gay (Beginning with the bullies in school). It has been learned - in numerous studies (Particularly of people convicted of crimes against gays...) that a large percentage of these people are either latent homosexuals themselves OR have been sexually assaulted by a member of their own sex & (wrongly so) blame homosexuality, I say "wrongly" because studies of such assaults confirm they are overwhelmingly committed by so-called "straights" - often married. I mention this point because persons acting out in this way ARE subject to higher degrees of stress, etc. and,as a result, would naturally live a shorter life... Of course there are many other factors - but I've already gone on too long and hopefully you get the point... P.S. To "loveandhope", Though I don't understand some of your analogies - your one about "straight couples dieing out & no more reproduction": I don't recall any claim of the sort - simply that non-homophobes live 2 years longer than homophobes (The ONLY claim!). And of all the studies done, none show a homosexual birth rate higher than one out of ten. Beginning with the extensive & thorough Kinsey report. While larger percentages may have had one or more same-sex experiences, those defined as homosexual did not exceed 10%. Don't think you have anything to worry about; "dieing out", "agenda" or otherwise.