American Sociological Association

The Problem with Square Pegs: Sexual Orientation Concordance as a Predictor of Depressive Symptoms

The author uses a nationally representative sample of cisgender young adults to examine the relationship between sexual orientation concordance and the prevalence of depressive symptoms. In these analyses, the author differentiates between those with an exclusive identity (100 percent gay or 100 percent straight) and those with a nonexclusive identity (“mostly gay,” “mostly straight,” or bisexual). Among those with an exclusive identity, the author differentiates between those with behavior and attraction that is in line with (concordant) or goes against (discordant) a claimed gay or straight identity. Those with a concordant sexual orientation report significantly lower depressive symptoms scores than do those with either a discordant sexual orientation or a nonexclusive identity. When accounting for orientation, concordance is significantly associated with depressive symptoms for straight- but not gay-identified young adults. These findings generally hold for women, but not for men when change in identity is controlled for.





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