ABH Maryland

New Research Reveals How Society Views LGBTQ Individuals in 2023


New Research Reveals How Society Views LGBTQ Individuals in 2023

  • Mental Health

America’s views and laws concerning the LGBTQ community exist in a state of contradictions. On the one hand, the Biden administration has made it a federal priority to safeguard nondiscrimination policies that protect this community, and there seems to be more tolerance in how society views LGBTQ individuals than ever before.

On the other hand, ruthless state laws have targeted LGBT individuals, and culture warriors seek to punish gay and trans people for merely existing.

Let’s look at the data and research and see what it tells us about how society views this minority population and what the research tells us about it.

Society Views LGBTQ Members as Second-Class Citizens

First, research shows that American society treats LGBT individuals as second-class citizens, and they experience stigma—a set of negative and unfair beliefs—daily. Here are some ways that members of this minority face discrimination:

Self-stigma occurs when an individual harbors negative feelings about themselves and believes they are less valuable than others. This condition leads to various adverse psychological and emotional states that can last a lifetime.

Interpersonal stigma coincides with events such as humiliation, attacks, or hate crimes. Years of micro-aggressions and name-calling can also have devastating effects on a person’s sense of self.

Structural stigma encompasses all of the societal-level conditions that restrict LGBT individuals from their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Examples of structural stigma can be very powerful and include the laws that criminalize drag shows or the cultural pressure that forces corporations to pull pro-gay apparel items.

What the Research Found

A nonpartisan coalition in association with the University of Chicago recently conducted a nationally representative survey with thousands of participants, both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, and made the following findings:

  • LGBT people experience more discrimination than others. This discrimination follows LGBT individuals everywhere they go: in the doctor’s office, in the workplace, in public, and when they search for a home. To avoid this discrimination, these individuals change their natural behavior and suffer mentally and physically. For instance, more than 20% of LGBT adults reported avoiding or postponing medical care in the last year to avoid persecution.
  • The legal framework of the United States has always acted against LGBT people. Relationships between same-sex partners were illegal from the nation’s founding until 2003. New legislation commonly targets the LGBT lifestyle—last year alone, there were over 300 bills in statehouses targeting LGBTQIA+ members. 
  • LGBT individuals who suffer discrimination have shorter lifespans. Members of sexual minorities who reside in communities where they face high levels of stigma don’t live as long as others in that same community. Researchers investigated the causes of death in this population and found elevated instances of suicide, murder, and heart disease.
  • Disabled and minority members suffer the most. Not surprisingly, perhaps, LGBT people who are also people of color, or those with disabilities, suffer discrimination more frequently than others. 

The Good News

There is good news in the current research, too, and how society views LGBTQ individuals seems to get a little bit warmer each year. 

Going back as recently as 2004, polls still showed that two-thirds of Americans were against allowing same-sex marriage. Today, these marriages have been legal in all 50 states for eight years, and about two-thirds say the impact of these marriages has been positive. Support for gay marriage has increased across all sectors of culture.

Contact Us

Advanced Behavioral Health understands the stigma that LGBT individuals face daily and how it affects their well-being. We offer professional and compassionate care to all patients, regardless of sexual orientation, and our therapists understand the biases facing LGBT in their search for appropriate healthcare. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health needs, please reach out to our team of qualified mental health specialists. 

You can call us at 301-345-1022 or send us a message online here. One of our team members will be standing by to help you find the confidential consultation you need.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.