The Timing and Correlates of Sexual Identity and Sexual Behavior Disclosure

William E. Rosales, University of California, Los Angeles

The disclosure of sexual identity and or same-sex sexual behavior, also known as “coming out,” as a social process is an important area of research because it reflects the level and existence of heterosexist norms in society. Coming out is also important because it affects the health and well-being for sexual minorities. Evidence suggests that disclosure by sexual minorities is associated with beneficial physical and mental health (John and Deluty 1998) and can also help to reduce prejudicial attitudes among heterosexuals (Herek and Capitiano 1996; Corrigan and Matthews 2003). This study will use data from the 2008 General Social Survey and estimate discrete-time hazard models to examine the timing and correlates of “coming out” of the closet for sexual minorities. Findings from this study enhance our understanding of who comes out and when, ultimately helping us to better understand health and social disparities in lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 7