Social Science & Medicine Journal Retracts ‘Erroneous’ Study Claiming LGBT People Who Live in Prejudiced Communities Die Earlier

A mid-2000’s study linking anti-gay prejudice to shorter lifespans for lesbians, gays, and bisexual individuals has been retracted on grounds that it was an “erroneous” finding.

The study “Structural stigma and all-cause mortality in sexual minority populations” was conducted by researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and was published by the peer-reviewed academic journal Social Science & Medicine in February 2014.

The study purported to have found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who live in communities with high levels of anti-gay sentiment tend to die earlier than lesbians, gays and bisexuals who live in communities that are more tolerant of their lifestyles.

The report suggested that lesbians, gays and bisexuals living in communities with a “high prejudice” to their lifestyles lived an average 12 years less than those living in more tolerant communities.

The study stated that analysis of specific causes of death revealed that suicide, homicide and cardiovascular diseases “were substantially elevated among sexual minorities in high-prejudice communities.”

The researchers, led by sociomedical sciences professor Mark Hatzenbuehler, indicated that an added stress that accompanies living in areas of lesser tolerance to LGBT lifestyles can cause earlier deaths.

The study had been promoted by institutions such as the National LGBT Health Education Center and was covered in a number of news outlets such as Reuters and ThinkProgress.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith