Effects of violence and discrimination on the mental health of bisexuals, lesbians, and gays in Mexico City

Luis Ortiz-Hernández María Isabel García Torres About the authors

The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, mental disorders, and alcoholism in bisexuals, lesbians, and gays in Mexico City and analyze the possible relationship between violence, discrimination, and the mental health of these population groups. A questionnaire was administered to 506 bisexuals, lesbians, and gays attending support organizations and institutions. Eight forms of discrimination and fourteen forms of violence based on sexual orientation were researched. The study found the following prevalence rates: 39.0% suicidal ideation, 15.0% suicide attempts, 27.0% mental disorders, and 18.0% alcoholism. Prevalence of alcoholism was 21.0% among bisexual and lesbian women, which is higher than in other women. Discrimination was correlated with suicide attempts and mental disorders, whereas violence was a risk factor for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, mental disorders, and alcoholism. Violence and to a lesser extent discrimination suffered by bisexuals, lesbians, and gays are associated with psychological distress, and policies are needed to counter this situation.

Violence; Prejudice; Mental Health; Homosexuality


Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br