Monday, January 26, 2009

Homosexuals use more drugs: The Longitudinal Study of Violence Against Women asks college students about sexual orientation and drug use. Here are the percentages:

Percent using marijuana

Men (N = 762)
Straight 28.1
Bi 53.2
Gay 40.0

Women (N = 1,446)
Straight 19.6
Bi 54.5
Lesbian 25.0

Percent using other illicit drugs

Men (N = 742)
Straight 10.5
Bi 35.7
Gay 31.6

Women (N = 1,446)
Straight 7.2
Bi 21.8
Lesbian 25.0

It is clear that for both categories of drugs, use is much higher for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. I assume this is due to gravitating toward non-conformist social circles, but welcome other explanations.


Matt said...

Deadening their sense of guilt? Decreasing their inhibitions?

Lipstick Lesbian said...

It's also because being gay is still very stressful. Not only because of lingering societal disapproval, but because homosexuals always have nonstandard mixes of gender qualities, which makes it difficult for us to interact successfully with heterosexuals. This is hard to quantify, but it's proof that the idea that gender is a social construct is nonsense. All of my teachers, for example, were feminists and thought that girls could be just like boys bla bla, but when I displayed what I later realized was subtly masculine behavior, they were furious. In our monkey brains, we know how men are supposed to behave and how women are supposed to behave, and variations on that, which we queers always display, annoy us.

Anonymous said...

Dull the pain of self-loathing?

Blode032222 said...

Most of my teachers, were feminists and thought that boys could be just like girls, but when I displayed what I later realized was overtly masculine behavior, they were furious.... Not because men aren't supposed to be masculine, but because thoughtful men are never supposed to stand up for themselves.

Outside conservative small towns, men have been divided into two neogenders: aggressive, apathetic males, that always exceed our expectations, are allowed to sexually harass anyone and everyone because their lack of intellectual ambition means they are "not creepy", and
... latter-day monks who are expected to turn the other cheek, do everyone's work, and above all, never ever display an ounce of heterosexuality.

It's not that I don't believe being gay is stressful - I really do. There are a lot of rumors about gay bashing out there, and some are even based on fact. The problem is, there aren't many rumors about straight bashing, because it isn't directed at the types of men anyone cares about (except when they need help with math). So when the insufficiently aggressive, insufficiently apathetic types get henpicked to within an inch of their lives for being "creepy" (i.e. displaying heterosexuality while not properly uniformed in baggy workout clothes), each member of the Second Neogender feels he is uniquely odd and damaged.

In that sort of psychological environment, psychedelics are hardly necessary.

(And I won't even get started on monogamy, and how if a male lets it slip that he is interested in starting a family - outside the aforementioned conservative small towns - he is instantly banished forever to the High-Tech Monk category.)

Jason Malloy said...

Biracial people are also more likely to use drugs.

I definitely see parallels.

ironrailsironweights said...

One thing that might contribute to the "other drugs" category among gay and bisexual men is the use of amyl nitrite and similar drugs known as poppers. Usage produces muscle relaxation, which in turn makes sexual activity less painful.


Anonymous said...

"I assume this is due to gravitating toward non-conformist social circles, but welcome other explanations. "
Maybe not the most significant cause.

Other causes could be:

-joint causation by environment or genetics: look at parent drug use, crime, dysfunctional home environments
-connection to mental health (cause or effect), mental health problems causing drug use

I don't know the subject or data but those are things I'd look for if I did.