Risk of poor mental health and experience of violence among a young adult population with same-sex sexuality: a cross-sectional study in southern Sweden

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Abstract

ObjectivesTo assess prevalence and correlates of same-sex sexuality and its relationship to poor mental health and experiences of violence among youth and young adults in Sweden. A secondary aim was to estimate the same-sex sexuality attributable fractions.DesignA population-based cross-sectional survey.SettingSouthern Sweden.Participants2968 respondents out of 7000 youth and young adults between 18 and 29 years old, resident in southern Sweden, selected randomly by the Swedish Central Population Registry (final sample=2931 respondents, 318 with same-sex sexuality and 2613 without).Outcome measuresThe outcome measures were self-reported poor mental health (depression and anxiety) and experience of violence (physical violence, sexual violence and sexual coercion).ResultsIncreased odd of high scores of depression (adjusted OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.39 to 2.26) and anxiety (adjusted OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.07) were observed among youth and young adults with same-sex sexuality. Similarly, increased odds of experience of physical violence (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.51), sexual violence (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.96 to 3.89) and sexual coercion (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.95 to 3.30) were observed with same-sex sexuality. Within the entire young population, same-sex sexuality accounted for 4.7% and 4.1% of the self-reported experience of depression and anxiety, respectively. The estimated same-sex sexuality attributable fractions of violence within the entire population of young people were 4.5% for physical violence, 7.3% for sexual violence and 6.4% for sexual coercion.ConclusionsThis study findings suggest that same-sex sexuality is associated with poor self-rated mental health and experience of violence among youth and young adults in Sweden. Some differences were observed between males and females, indicating that the vulnerabilities and experiences vary between young males and females. Further research is needed in order to gain a deeper knowledge of the factors underlying these associations and the gender differences observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere052617
JournalBMJ Open
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • mental health
  • public health

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