BPD And Homosexuality:
A study conducted by Reich and Zanarini (2008) involving the interviewing of 362 psychiatric inpatients (290 of whom were suffering from borderline personality disorder ; the remaining 72 were included in the study for comparison purposes and had personality disorders other than BPD).
THE INTERVIEWS :
All of the 362 participants in the study were given interviews in which they were asked about their sexual orientation and the gender of their intimate partners.
RESULTS OF THE INTERVIEWS :
1) Those individuals suffering from BPD were significantly more likely than individuals from the comparison group to identify as having a homosexual or bisexual sexual orientation.
2) Those individuals suffering from BPD were significantly more likely than individuals from the comparison group to report having same-sex relationships.
(The above results were not significantly different in relation to whether the interviewee was male or female).
In another study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was found that, from a sample of 80 individuals (nineteen of whom were male and sixty-one female) who had been diagnosed with BPD :
- 21 % were homosexual (this percentage breaks down to 53℅ of the men with BPD and 11% of the women with BPD – quite a gender difference!)
- 5 ℅ were bisexual
- 11℅ were diagnosed as having a paraphilia
How Do The Above Figures Compare To The General Population?
According to this study :
Men diagnosed with BPD are TEN TIMES more likely to be homosexual than are men randomly selected from the general population.
Women diagnosed with BPD are SIX TIMES more likely to be homosexual than are women randomly selected from the general population.
The Velvet Rage :
In his book, The Velvet Rage, Alan Downs, PhD, examines the reasons that might explain why gay men are far more prone than straight men to suffering from mental health conditions, including depression, sex addiction, alcohol and drug dependence, as well as being at elevated risk of committing suicide.
In doing so, he suggests that the emotional pain of growing up gay in a predominantly heterosexual world, especially if it encompasses feelings of shame and invalidation, significantly contribute to the development of mental health problems.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).