The Advocate: Holiday Stress Levels Higher for Lesbians Than Straight Women (Dec 19)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Stress Levels Higher for Lesbians Than Straight Women

Lesbians tend to be more stressed and depressed during the holidays than straight women, according to a survey conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications.

The survey found that 80% of lesbian adults felt more stress around the holidays, compared with 64% of heterosexual women. And while 51% of lesbians said they tend to feel more depressed around the holidays, only 36% of straight women did.

“Estrangement from family, marginalization within and isolation from society, separation from children (sometimes due to custody battles), and inadequate access to culturally sensitive health care practitioners are all factors that can adversely affect mood during a season so identified with family activities and belonging,“ Linda Spooner, a Washington, D.C., physician, said in a press release.

Smoking is also a greater problem for lesbians, according to the survey. Twenty-five percent of lesbians said they smoked, compared with 19% of heterosexual women. Half of the straight women polled said they would try to quit smoking in the next year, while only 23% of lesbians said they would try to stop. (The Advocate)