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Gay Men's Health and Identity: Social Change and the Life Course.

  • Author(s): Hammack, Phillip L;
  • Frost, David M;
  • Meyer, Ilan H;
  • Pletta, David R
  • et al.

Due to significant historical change in the late 20th and early 21st century related to both health and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality, gay men of distinct birth cohorts may diverge considerably in their health and identity development. We argue that research on gay men's health has not adequately considered the significance of membership in distinct generation-cohorts, and we present a life course paradigm to address this problem. Focusing on the U.S. as an exemplar that can be adapted to other cultural contexts, we identify five generations of gay men alive today and review unique issues related to health and identity development for each. Implications for research, practice, and advocacy on gay men's health and development are discussed.

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