A new report from the Working Group on Health Disparities in Boys and Men of the American Psychological Association focuses on males from underrepresented groups and non-heterosexual males. Men from these groups have among the poorest health of any Americans. And the study found that this can be explained in part by systemic oppression and discrimination targeting these men.
Several factors work against minority boys and men, leading to higher rates of trauma, substance use, depression and violence, according to the report. The report cited statistics indicating that minority boys and men and those who identify as LGBTQI are at a higher risk for HIV and AIDS and have higher rates of suicide, smoking and being bullied and harassed more than heterosexual boys and men. They are also more often targeted for hate crimes.
Derek Griffith, professor of medicine, health and society and director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University, who served on the American Psychological Association’s working group, notes that “these populations are particularly vulnerable because schools, criminal justice institutions, and healthcare systems are rarely prepared to deal with the unique challenges that these boys and men face, and how these males express disappointment, sadness, anger and frustration.”
Dr. Griffith joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 2012 after teaching at the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he doubled majored in psychology and Afro-American studies. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from DePaul University in Chicago.
The report, Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic and Sexual Minority Boys and Men, may be accessed here.