Hey Arizona, that prejudice you’re carrying around might mean you’re going to die early. Too harsh? A new study has found some links that demonstrate that the homophobic folks live an average of 2.5 years less than their more open-minded counterparts. You can’t make this stuff up.
The finding comes from the fact that homophobes in question tend to be more stressed out than the average person, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise because intolerance often stems from fear of the unknown and if you’re scared of a large chunk of the population then yeah, that sounds stressful. Hate crimes and even minor slights against people take angry energy and you know how angry energy festers.
The thing with stress is that it hurts your body pretty bad. Just a few unnecessary bursts of the stress hormone cortisol and your body might deal by making you hungry for sugar, thirsty for alcohol, or it might even cut down your own supply of healing blood cells. Any inflammatory substances that come your way will be met with less resistance and will have the freedom to roam and wreck havoc on your insides. This can lead to increased fatigue, a lowered immune system, and a pained cardiovascular system. Sounds awful, and over the long term can reduce your life span.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, drew upon information that goes back to 1988, comparing people’s opinions about gay orientations and their ultimate demise. The researchers found that:
“Antigay prejudice was specifically associated with increased risk of cardiovascular-related causes of death.”
The study carefully factored in other controls that could be associated with early deaths such as socioeconomic factors, areas that the people lived, and their general health. To determine who they were to study as being homophobic, people were asked questions such as:
“Should a man who admits that he is a homosexual be allowed to teach in a college or university?”
“Do you think that sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong, almost always wrong, wrong only sometimes, or not wrong at all?”
Not much room for interpretation. The obvious takeaway of this study is that prejudice hurts everyone, so cut that crap out.