LGB people report lower well-being

12 May 2017

PA

Group demonstration: hundreds of LGBT activists protest the violent persecution of gay men in Chechnya (News, 21 April), outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, last Friday

Group demonstration: hundreds of LGBT activists protest the violent persecution of gay men in Chechnya (News, 21 April), outside the Russian Embassy i...

PEOPLE in the UK who identify as gay or lesbian, or bisexual, are more anxious, and therefore have a lower measure of personal well-being, than average, a report from the Office for National Statistics suggests.

Published on Tuesday, it analyses three years of data from the Annual Population Survey (APS) on personal well-being, which measures levels of anxiety, happiness, worth, and life satisfaction, using various indicators. These include sexual identity, which is differentiated from sexual attraction or behaviour.

On average, between 2012 and 2015, people who identified as heterosexual or straight were happier and more satisfied with life than those who identified as gay or lesbian, or bisexual. Those who identified as bisexual reported the highest levels of anxiety in this time.

About a third of people who identified as bisexual reported high levels of anxiety; this was compared with 19.5 per cent who identified as heterosexual or straight.

Among other indicators of personal well-being were age, gender, marriage or civil partnership, and religion or belief. “Previous research has identified that general health, employment, and relationship status have the largest association with personal well-being,” the report says.

It also pointed to other factors that might affect self-reporting of sexual identity, and therefore the consistency of the data: “The release Sexual Identity, UK: 2015 showed that you are more likely to report identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual if you live in London, and previous research has shown that personal well-being is generally lower in London.”

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