Gay Men’s Institute – Desert Palms

The Gay Men’s Institute Desert Palms (formerly Sunspire Health Desert Palms) is a licensed residential treatment facility that provides a personal approach to care for men and women suffering from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Eye-opening study reveals just how many queer men have been hooking up through lockdown

Gay and bisexual men are having significantly less sex in the age of coronavirus, according to a new survey, though some haven’t changed their sexual habits at all.

The survey was conducted by Australia’s Kirby Institute, with 940 gay and bisexual men revealing their sexual habits since the coronavirus began its rapid spread in March — and the results are eye-opening.

The results — published in JAIDS — showed that there was a 12-fold decrease in the number of sexual partners gay and bisexual men were having sex with after the pandemic hit.

Of the 587 men who said they were having casual sex before the pandemic, 84 per cent said they had stopped hooking up. The other 16 per cent said they’d continued to have casual sex throughout the pandemic.

Almost 95 per cent of men recognised that sex with a variety of partners, as well as group sex, posed a particular risk for transmission of the virus.

Eye-opening study reveals just how many queer men have been hooking up through lockdown

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, a network of nationwide specialized behavioral healthcare programs, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Downs, Ph.D. as Executive Director of Gay Men’s Institute. Located in Palm Springs, Calif., Gay Men’s Institute will open in December 2018 to provide the highest level of compassionate and comprehensive individualized care with a primary focus on the gay men’s community.

Dr. Downs is a clinical psychologist and the author of seven books, including the renowned bestselling book, , in which he addresses the embedded architecture of shame in a gay man’s life that often persists long after he has come to terms with his sexuality. His relentless hunger for validation to counteract this shame can sometimes drive him to extremes, making him vulnerable to addictions, depression, and even suicide. Dr. Downs work is acclaimed internationally and has been published in over 27 languages.

With more than 25 years of experience working with gay men from all walks of life, Dr. Downs is a sought-after conference speaker, workshop leader and frequent media commentator on the psychology of gay men. In addition, Dr. Downs is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and has practiced DBT psychotherapy for 20 years.

Designed to provide evidence-based, compassionate and individualized care, Gay Men’s Institute sets a new higher standard in treatment for gay men. “While other facilities provide LGBTQ+ affirming treatment, the Gay Men’s Institute will take this a step further by offering specialized treatment designed to address the specific needs of gay men struggling with addiction and associated emotional and behavioral problems,” said Dr. Downs. “I look forward to leading a team of some of the finest behavioral and medical professionals at Gay Men’s Institute, working together to make a positive difference in the gay community and help gay men achieve long-term recovery.”

Dr. Downs holds a B.A. in Psychology from Louisiana Tech University, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Alabama, and earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Nebraska. He has made numerous media appearances, including on .

The Meadows Behavioral Healthcare system is a network of specialized behavioral healthcare programs, individualized addiction recovery centers, and acute psychiatric care centers located throughout the United States. Meadows Behavioral Healthcare is the industry leader in providing evidence-based healthcare treatment for people struggling with emotional trauma, drug and alcohol addiction, sex addiction, eating disorders, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring conditions. The full continuum of programs and services deliver personalized treatment plans to people of all walks of life, meeting them at their point of need to help achieve long-term recovery. This treatment approach, which is rooted in decades of clinical experience treating childhood and relational trauma, addiction, eating disorders and mental illness, has established a strong foundation of trust among its patients, referring healthcare partners and the local communities served. For more information on the Meadows Behavioral Healthcare continuum of treatment services, please visit or call 800-244-4949.

Gay Men’s Obsession with Masculinity Is Hurting Their Mental Health

From the moment they leave the womb, men are indoctrinated with ideas about what their gender means. Real men don’t cry. They don’t ask for help. They don’t back down from a fight. Our culture inculcates masculinity in ways both subtle and overt, through schoolyard taunts and gendered bathrooms, at the gym as in the frat house.

The result of this relentless social conditioning is that every gay man inherits an identity crisis: They must reconcile their sense of masculinity with their failure to conform to its compulsory heterosexuality. While some resolve the conflict by eschewing gender norms altogether, a surprising number embrace the very rubric they fall short of, striving to embody cultural notions of masculinity in the way they speak, act, and dress. This is particularly true when it comes to dating.

“In the gay community, a sexual premium is placed on masculinity, which puts pressure on gay men to be masculine,” says Justin Lehmiller, a psychologist at the Kinsey Institute who studies human sexuality. “Feminine-acting men are seen as less desirable sexual partners.”

This is no news to anyone who has ever perused gay dating apps, where one often comes across men advertising themselves as “straight-acting” or “masc.” It’s as common to list the number of times you go to the gym per week as divulging your age. In one 2012 study about gay men’s attitudes toward masculinity, a majority of those surveyed said it was important not only for themselves to present as masculine, but for their partners to look and act masculine as well. Other studies have found that gay men are more attracted to masculine-looking faces and muscular builds. The more masculine one rates oneself, the greater importance he places on masculinity in his partner.

“If enough people tell you they’re only looking for masc men, you start to think there’s something wrong with you.”

While some may dismiss the reverence of masculinity among gay men as “just a preference,” it has documented negative effects on mental health. Gay men who are more gender-nonconforming struggle more frequently with self-esteem and experience higher levels of depression and anxiety. Those who prize masculinity are more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies.

“A big part of the reason people in the LGBT community have more mental health issues is not only because they experience high levels of marginalization from society at large, but also because of the intense pressure to be, look, and act in a masculine way,” Lehmiller tells them.. “You have all of this social exclusion happening more broadly, but also within the queer community itself. We’re judging and excluding one another.”

Whether or not gay men intend to shun those who are less masculine than they are, if a critical mass of the community expresses a preference for masculinity, it creates a standard.

“Femme men can feel ostracized because of the pedestal we put masculinity on,” says John Ersing, a 28-year-old gay writer in New York City. “If enough people tell you they’re only looking for masc men, you start to think there’s something wrong with you.”

But gay culture’s obsession with masculinity hurts masculine and feminine men alike.

“Even gay men who subscribe to masculinity — and it may be genuine — feel a degree of uncertainty about whether they are masculine enough, how they are seen by others,” says Francisco Sánchez, a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri who studies gay men and masculinity and conducted the 2012 study. “There’s often a sense of inferiority.”

While such feelings are most common earlier in the coming-out stages, Sánchez notes that masculine norms continue to affect gay men’s sense of self long after they’ve told mom and dad.

“Many gay men want to fit in and be seen as normal, not different,” he says.

„You cannot exist in a world where you’re always armored,“ says Wizdom Powell, associate professor of psychiatry at The University of Connecticut. „It puts boys and men in this box that makes it very hard for them to get the help they need.”

The pressure to conform to male stereotypes doesn’t just harm gay men; it’s bad for all men. In August of last year, the American Psychological Association released a document titled “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys.” While the APA acknowledged that gender roles are largely socially constructed — science still knows very little about how biology affects gender — and masculine norms vary across cultures, “there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” Thirteen years in the works, the document noted that rigid adherence to this traditional masculine ideology harms men’s mental and physical health, in part by discouraging them from expressing emotion and seeking treatment when they need it.

The guidelines prompted a fierce backlash from the right-wing media, which accused the APA of demonizing men. “Traditional masculinity seems to be, in this report at least, conflated with being a pig, or a creep, or a Harvey Weinstein kind of person,” intoned Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham. National Review’s David French called it a “full-frontal attack” on conservative values.

But Ryon McDermott, a professor of psychology at the University of South Alabama who helped draft the guidelines, says such criticisms missed the point, which was to help psychologists better treat men and boys. What conservative commentators failed to appreciate was that it was rigid and extreme forms of masculinity — rather than masculinity wholesale — that the APA had cautioned against.

“When you adhere to masculine norms in rigid ways, it stops you from adapting and coping with your environment,” McDermott says. “It leads to men not seeking help, self-medicating, committing suicide, abuse in relationships. It’s not the norms that are toxic, but the ways that people adhere to them.”

It may be tempting to dismiss all masculinities as bad. But Wizdom Powell, director of the Health Disparities Institute and associate professor of psychiatry at The University of Connecticut, stresses that even traits associated with traditional masculinity can be beneficial depending on the social context. Stoicism, for instance, can serve service-members well on the battlefield, but creates a barrier in overcoming PTSD.

“The important thing to remember is that masculinity is plural and situational — there’s more than one way men and boys enact masculinities in their daily lives,” says Powell, whose research focuses on the impact of gender norms and racism on black men. “But you cannot exist in a world where you’re always armored. It puts boys and men in this box that makes it very hard for them to get the help they need.”

Gay and straight alike, men who are more flexible in their adherence to masculine norms — those who can step in and out of the box — can better handle their environment.

“Research shows consistently that men who are more flexible in their gender roles tend to be healthier at nearly every level,” McDermott says.

“There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to masc guys, but the problem comes when you’re completely shutting yourself off to any other possibility,” says John Ersing. “You’re cockblocking yourself.”

The good news is that the strict binary between masculinity and femininity appears to be blurring. A majority of Millennials believe gender falls on a spectrum, according to Fusion’s Massive Millennial Pollsurvey from queer-rights organization GLAAD showed 12 percent of this generation identifies as gender non-conforming.

Justin Clay, a 23-year-old YouTuber based in Atlanta, has noticed greater acceptance of and experimentation with gender nonconformity since coming out in 2014. “As I’ve grown up, I’ve seen more people my own age exploring how they express themselves,” he says. “I feel like a lot of it is due to the work and organizing that queer people of color have done.”

Gay men know instinctually that that masculinity is fluid. Even the most straight-acting gay man can’t call everyone “bro” all the time. All gay men engage in code-switching, butching it up in a job interview but letting themselves queen out at the weekly Drag Race gathering. Much of this variation in behavior stems from a desire to avoid negative social repercussions from society at large, but gay men also tend to put on their straight face to be more appealing to other gay men.

And yet some in the gay community — particularly those who express a preference for butch types — are reluctant to acknowledge that attraction to masculinity is as variable as masculinity itself.

“Dating apps make it easy to enforce gender boundaries, but in reality, desire is messy, complicated, and surprising,” says Jake Hall, a Ph.D. student in gender and sexuality at the University of Birmingham who identifies as femme. “Even if you have a preference for masculine men, you’d be surprised who you end up being attracted to. You can recondition your mind.”

As young people push the boundaries of gender, an increasing number of gay men feel comfortable questioning gay culture’s idolization of traditional masculinity — and the notion that desire is bound by it.

“There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to masc guy, but the problem comes when you’re completely shutting yourself off to any other possibility,” Ersing says. “You’re cockblocking yourself.”

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Gay Men’s Obsession with Masculinity Is Hurting Their Mental Health

Gay, Straight Men’s Brain Responses Differ

WASHINGTON – Gay men’s brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found.

The homosexual men’s brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone search).

„It is one more piece of evidence … that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned,“ said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster Universitysearch) in Ontario, Canada.

Witelson, who was not part of the research team, said the findings clearly show a biological involvement in sexual orientation.

The study, published in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was done by researchers at the search) in Stockholm, Sweden.

They exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones.

These chemicals are thought to be pheromonessearch) — molecules known to trigger responses such as defense and sex in many animals.

Whether humans respond to pheromones has been debated, although in 2000 American researchers reported finding a gene that they believe directs a human pheromone receptor in the nose.

The Swedish study was one of a series looking at whether parts of the brain involved in reproduction differ in response to odors and pheromones, lead researcher Ivanka Savic said.

The brains of different groups responded similarly to ordinary odors such as lavender, but differed in their response to the chemicals thought to be pheromones, Savic said.

The Swedish researchers divided 36 subjects into three groups — heterosexual men, heterosexual women and homosexual men. They studied the brain response to sniffing the chemicals, using PET scans. All the subjects were healthy, unmedicated, right-handed and HIV negative.

When they sniffed smells like cedar or lavender, all of the subjects‘ brains reacted only in the olfactory region that handles smells.

But when confronted by a chemical from testosterone, the male hormone, portions of the brains active in sexual activity were activated in straight women and in gay men, but not in straight men, the researchers found.

The response in gay men and straight women was concentrated in the hypothalamus with a maximum in the preoptic area that is active in hormonal and sensory responses necessary for sexual behavior, the researchers said.

And when estrogen, the female hormone was used, there was only a response in the olfactory portion of the brains of straight women. Homosexual men had their primary response also in the olfactory area, with a very small reaction in the hypothalamus, while heterosexual men responded strongly in the reproductive region of the brain.

Savic said the group is also doing a study involving homosexual women but those results are not yet complete.

In a separate study looking at people’s response to the body odors of others, researchers in Philadelphia found sharp differences between gay and straight men and women.

„Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odors and in the perception of and response to body odors,“ said neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, who led the study.

In particular, he said, finding differences in body odors between gay and straight individuals indicates a physical difference.

It’s hard to see how a simple choice to be gay or lesbian would influence the production of body odor, he said.

Wysocki’s team at the Monell Chemical Senses Center studied the response of 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and heterosexual and homosexual women to the odors of underarm sweat collected from 24 donors of varied gender and sexual orientation.

They found that gay men differed from heterosexual men and women and from lesbian women, both in terms of which body odors gay men preferred and how their own body odors were regarded by the other groups.

Gay men preferred odors from gay men, while odors from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women in the study. Their findings, released Monday, are to be published in the journal Psychological Science in September.

The Swedish research was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Karolinska Institute and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation. Wysocki’s research was supported by the Monell Center.

Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ

Gay Men’s Health

As part of Family Health Centers of San Diego, we are one of the largest providers of comprehensive HIV prevention, outreach, testing and support services in the county. We also offer LGBTQ health services such as programs specifically designed for gay men of color, PrEP navigation, transgender-informed health care, as well as free and confidential HIV testing.

We have been dedicated to providing caring, affordable, high-quality health care and supportive services for 50 years. Today, we will continue to deliver these important services to you and our communities. Regardless of the changes in the political climate, our LGBTQ patients will receive the same lifesaving, affirming care they have come to expect from us, and we will continue to support and advocate for the LGBTQ community.

We offer FREE and confidential HIV testing and STD tests which generally costs around $15-$20. These fees include all tests, exams, treatment and follow-ups. If you’re unable to pay, we may be able to waive the fees. Don’t let the fees stop you from coming in to get tested!

How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender?

A number of large, population-based surveys ask questions about respondents’ sexual orientation and gender identity. This brief estimates the size of the LGBT population in the U.S. based on data collected through 11 surveys conducted in the U.S. and four other countries.

Increasing numbers of population-based surveys in the United States and across the world include questions that allow for an estimate of the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population. This research brief discusses challenges associated with collecting better information about the LGBT community and reviews eleven recent US and international surveys that ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions. The brief concludes with estimates of the size of the LGBT population in the United States.

Increasing numbers of population-based surveys in the United States and across the world include questions designed to measure sexual orientation and gender identity. Understanding the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population is a critical first step to informing a host of public policy and research topics. Examples include assessing health and economic disparities in the LGBT community, understanding the prevalence of anti-LGBT discrimination, and considering the economic impact of marriage equality or the provision of domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples. This research brief discusses challenges associated with collecting better information about the LGBT community and reviews findings from eleven recent US and international surveys that ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions. The brief concludes with estimates of the size of the LGBT population in the United States.

Estimates of the size of the LGBT community vary for a variety of reasons. These include differences in the definitions of who is included in the LGBT population, differences in survey methods, and a lack of consistent questions asked in a particular survey over time.

In measuring sexual orientation, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may be identified strictly based on their self-identity or it may be possible to consider same-sex sexual behavior or sexual attraction. Some surveys (not considered in this brief) also assess household relationships and provide a mechanism of identifying those who are in same-sex relationships. Identity, behavior, attraction, and relationships all capture related dimensions of sexual orientation but none of these measures completely addresses the concept.

Defining the transgender population can also be challenging. Definitions of who may be considered part of the transgender community include aspects of both gender identities and varying forms of gender expression or non-conformity. Similar to sexual orientation, one way to measure the transgender community is to simply consider self-identity. Measures of identity could include consideration of terms like transgender, queer, or genderqueer. The latter two identities are used by some to capture aspects of both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Similar to using sexual behaviors and attraction to capture elements of sexual orientation, questions may also be devised that consider gender expression and non-conformity regardless of the terms individuals may use to describe themselves. An example of these types of questions would be consideration of the relationship between the sex that individuals are assigned at birth and the degree to which that assignment conforms with how they express their gender. Like the counterpart of measuring sexual orientation through identity, behavior, and attraction measures, these varying approaches capture related dimensions of who might be classified as transgender but may not individually address all aspects of assessing gender identity and expression.

Another factor that can create variation among estimates of the LGBT community is survey methodology. Survey methods can affect the willingness of respondents to report stigmatizing identities and behaviors. Feelings of confidentiality and anonymity increase the likelihood that respondents will be more accurate in reporting sensitive information. Survey methods that include face-to-face interviews may underestimate the size of the LGBT community while those that include methods that allow respondents to complete questions on a computer or via the internet may increase the likelihood of LGBT respondents identifying themselves. Varied sample sizes of surveys can also increase variation. Population-based surveys with a larger sample can produce more precise estimates (see SMART, 2010 for more information about survey methodology).

A final challenge in making population-based estimates of the LGBT community is the lack of questions asked over time on a single large survey. One way of assessing the reliability of estimates is to repeat questions over time using a consistent method and sampling strategy. Adding questions to more large-scale surveys that are repeated over time would substantially improve our ability to make better estimates of the size of the LGBT population.

Findings shown in Figure 1 consider estimates of the percentage of adults who self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual across nine surveys conducted within the past seven years. Five of those surveys were fielded in the United States and the others are from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Norway. All are population-based surveys of adults, though some have age restrictions as noted.

The lowest overall percentage comes from the Norwegian Living Conditions Survey at 1.2%, with the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, conducted in the United States, producing the highest estimate at 5.6%. In general, the non-US surveys, which vary from 1.2% to 2.1%, estimate lower percentages of LGB-identified individuals than the US surveys, which range from 1.7% to 5.6%.

While the surveys show a fairly wide variation in the overall percentage of adults who identify as LGB, the proportion who identify as lesbian/gay versus bisexual is somewhat more consistent (see Figure 2). In six of the surveys, lesbian- and gay-identified individuals outnumbered bisexuals. In most cases, these surveys were roughly 60% lesbian/gay versus 40% bisexual. The UK Integrated Household Survey found the proportion to be two-thirds lesbian/gay versus one-third bisexual.

The National Survey of Family Growth found results that were essentially the opposite of the UK survey with only 38% identifying as lesbian or gay compared to 62% identifying as bisexual. The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior and the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships both found a majority of respondents (55% and 59%, respectively) identifying as bisexual.

The surveys show even greater consistency in differences between men and women associated with lesbian/gay versus bisexual identity. Women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual. Bisexuals comprise more than half of the lesbian and bisexual population among women in eight of the nine surveys considered (see Figure 3). Conversely, gay men comprise substantially more than half of gay and bisexual men in seven of the nine surveys.

Four of the surveys analyzed also asked questions about either sexual behavior or attraction. Within these surveys, a larger fraction of adults report same-sex attractions and behaviors than self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (see Figure 4). With the exception of the Norwegian survey, these differences are substantial. The two US surveys and the Australian survey all suggest that adults are two to three times more likely to say that they are attracted to individuals of the same-sex or have had same-sex sexual experiences than they are to self-identify as LGB.

Population-based data sources that estimate the percentage of adults who are transgender are very rare. The Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey represents one of the few population-based surveys that include a question designed to identify the transgender population. Analyses of the 2007 and 2009 surveys suggest that 0.5% of adults aged 18-64 identified as transgender (Conron 2011).

The 2003 California LGBT Tobacco Survey found that 3.2% of LGBT individuals identified as transgender. Recall that the 2009 California Health Interview Survey estimates that 3.2% of adults in the state are LGB. If both of these estimates are true, it implies that approximately 0.1% of adults in California are transgender.

Several studies have reviewed multiple sources to construct estimates of a variety of dimensions of gender identity. Conway (2002) suggests that between 0.5% and 2% of the population have strong feelings of being transgender and between 0.1% and 0.5% actually take steps to transition from one gender to another. Olyslager and Conway (2007) refine Conway’s original estimates and posit that at least 0.5% of the population has taken some steps toward transition. Researchers in the United Kingdom (Reed, et al., 2009) suggest that perhaps 0.1% of adults are transgender (defined again as those who have transitioned in some capacity).

Notably, the estimates of those who have transitioned are consistent with the survey-based estimates from California and Massachusetts. Those surveys both used questions that implied a transition or at least discordance between sex at birth and current gender presentation.

Federal data sources designed to provide population estimates in the United States (e.g., the Decennial Census or the American Community Survey) do not include direct questions regarding sexual orientation or gender identity. The findings shown in Figure 1 suggest that no single survey offers a definitive estimate for the size of the LGBT community in the United States.

However, combining information from the population-based surveys considered in this brief offers a mechanism to produce credible estimates for the size of the LGBT community. Specifically, estimates for sexual orientation identity will be derived by averaging results from the five US surveys identified in Figure 1.

Separate averages are calculated for lesbian and bisexual women along with gay and bisexual men. An estimate for the transgender population is derived by averaging the findings from the Massachusetts and California surveys cited earlier.

It should be noted that some transgender individuals may identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. So it is not possible to make a precise combined LGBT estimate. Instead, Figure 5 presents separate estimates for the number of LGB adults and the number of transgender adults.

The analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are LGB, comprising 3.5% of the adult population. This is split nearly evenly between lesbian/gay and bisexual identified individuals, 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively. There are also nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the US. Given these findings, it seems reasonable to assert that approximately 9 million Americans identify as LGBT.

Averaging measures of same-sex sexual behavior yields an estimate of nearly 19 million Americans (8.2%) who have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior.1 The National Survey of Family Growth is the only source of US data on attraction and suggests that 11% or nearly 25.6 million Americans acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.2

By way of comparison, these analyses suggest that the size of the LGBT community is roughly equivalent to the population of New Jersey. The number of adults who have had same-sex sexual experiences is approximately equal to the population of Florida while those who have some same-sex attraction comprise more individuals than the population of Texas.

The surveys highlighted in this report demonstrate the viability of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on large-scale national population-based surveys. States and municipal governments are often testing grounds for the implementation of new LGBT-related public policies or can be directly affected by national-level policies. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity questions to national data sources that can provide local-level estimates and to state and municipal surveys is critical to assessing the potential efficacy and impact of such policies.

Gay Brain Shows Gender Atypical Traits

June 16, 2008 — Imaging studies reveal key differences in the brains of gay and straight men and women that could add to the understanding of the biology of homosexuality.

Using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute found that the brains of straight men and gay women tended to be slightly asymmetric, with the right hemisphere somewhat larger than the left.

The asymmetry was not seen in straight women and gay men.

And building on earlier imaging research showing different patterns of brain activation between the sexes in response to emotional stimuli, the Swedish researchers showed that certain activation patterns for gay men and women tended to more closely resemble those of the opposite sex than their own.

Largest study of gay brothers homes in on ‚gay genes‘

Not a lifestyle thing, but specific gay genes remain to be pinned down

A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay brothers, including sets of twins, has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.

The finding is an important contribution to mounting evidence that being gay is biologically determined rather than a lifestyle choice. In some countries, such as Uganda, being gay is still criminalised, and some religious groups believe that gay people can be “treated” to make them straight.

Gay, bisexual men increasingly agree: HIV “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable”

Yet transmission-risk misunderstandings persist, finds large NIH-supported study.

Extensive evidence from HIV prevention research studies has firmly established that “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable,” or U=U. This means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load — the amount of virus in their blood — by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed do not sexually transmit HIV to others. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates this strategy is 100% effective against the sexual transmission of HIV.

Now, a new study of nearly 112,000 men who have sex with men in the United States has found increasing acceptance of the U=U message in this population. Overall, 54% of HIV-negative participants and 84% of participants with HIV correctly identified U=U as accurate. The study was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Study results were published online today in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

“U=U has been validated repeatedly by numerous studies as a safe and effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID Director. “The increased understanding and acceptance of U=U is encouraging because HIV treatment as prevention is a foundation of efforts to end the epidemic in the United States and around the world. This public health message has the power to reduce stigma, protect the health of people living with HIV and prevent sexual transmission of HIV to others.”

Researchers led by H. Jonathon Rendina, Ph.D., M.P.H., at Hunter College of the City University of New York, collected data from secure online surveys promoted on social media and mobile dating apps from November 2017 through September 2018. By analyzing the responses of self-identified sexual minority men, researchers found that approximately 55% of participants responded “completely accurate” or “somewhat accurate” to the question: “With regard to HIV-positive individuals transmitting HIV through sexual contact, how accurate do you believe the slogan Undetectable = Untransmittable is?” 

Acceptance of U=U was far stronger among participants who self-reported to be living with HIV (84%) compared to HIV-negative participants (54%) and those who did not know their HIV status (39%). Researchers found U=U acceptance had increased over time by comparing the data to findings from a similar study by the same group that analyzed data collected in 2016 and early 2017. Among the 12,200 sexual minority men surveyed at that time, only 30% of HIV-negative participants and 64% of participants living with HIV agreed that U=U was completely or somewhat accurate.

In the current study, HIV-negative participants who reported seeking HIV testing and prevention services, as well as those taking daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), were more likely to believe U=U was accurate. These findings suggest that U=U acceptance correlates to more frequent interactions with HIV prevention services. Among respondents with HIV, those who reported excellent adherence to ART were more likely to agree that U=U is accurate compared to those who reported “less than excellent” adherence or not being on ART at all.

The online survey also asked respondents to use a graduated scale from 0% (“no risk”) to 100% (“complete risk”) to rate the risk of a man whose HIV was undetectable transmitting the virus to his HIV-negative partner through either insertive or receptive anal sex without a condom. While studies confirm that a person whose HIV is suppressed does not transmit the virus through sexual activity, only 10% of all respondents rated the transmission risk as zero when the insertive partner has undetectable virus. Similarly, only 14% of respondents rated transmission risk as zero when HIV in the receptive partner is undetectable.

Among those who agreed that U=U was “completely accurate,” only 31% and 39% believed transmission risk is zero when the insertive or receptive partner, respectively, has undetectable virus. However, acceptance of U=U was associated with lower perceived risk of HIV transmission through any form of condom-less anal sex.

“A growing number of sexual minority men believe that U=U is accurate, but our data suggest that most still overestimate the risk of HIV transmission from an undetectable partner, which may be because people have trouble understanding the concept of risk,” said Dr. Rendina, the lead author on the study. “All published studies point to undetectable viral load as being the most effective method to date of preventing sexual HIV transmission, but most of our messaging has focused on the level of risk being zero rather than describing it in terms of effectiveness, which is the way we usually talk about condoms and PrEP.”

All data collected in the online survey was confidential and self-reported. Study participants represented all U.S. states and were of various races and ethnicities, including 14% Black and 24% Latino. Participants ranged in age from 13 to 88 years old with a median age of 32. About 79% identified as gay, 18% as bisexual, and 3% as queer. Approximately 1% of respondents identified as transgender.

Earlier this year, Dr. Fauci and his colleagues wrote about the strength of scientific validation for the HIV treatment as prevention strategy and U=U in a JAMA commentary. The efficacy of treatment as prevention was first verified on a large scale by the NIH-funded HPTN 052 clinical trial, which showed that no linked HIV transmissions occurred among serodifferent heterosexual couples when the partner living with HIV had a durably suppressed viral load. Subsequently, the PARTNER 1 and 2 and Opposites Attract studies confirmed these findings and extended them to male-male couples. As described by authors of the current study, the independent non-profit organization Prevention Access Campaign launched the U=U slogan in 2016 to promote awareness of these scientific findings.

Importantly, U=U refers only to the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV; condoms are still needed to prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections. 

This research was supported in part by NIAID (UG3-AI133674), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH114735, co-funded UG3-AI133674), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U19-HD089875, U19-HD089875-03S2, co-funded UG3-AI133674) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA041262, R34-DA043422, R01-DA045613, K01-DA039030), all part of NIH.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit .

Meadows Behavioral Healthcare Appoints Dr. Alan Downs as Executive Director of Gay Men’s Institute

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 10, 2018–Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, a network of nationwide specialized behavioral healthcare programs, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Downs, Ph.D. as Executive Director of Gay Men’s Institute. Located in Palm Springs, Calif., Gay Men’s Institute will open in December 2018 to provide the highest level of compassionate and comprehensive individualized care with a primary focus on the gay men’s community.

Dr. Downs is a clinical psychologist and the author of seven books, including the renowned bestselling book, The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World, in which he addresses the embedded architecture of shame in a gay man’s life that often persists long after he has come to terms with his sexuality. His relentless hunger for validation to counteract this shame can sometimes drive him to extremes, making him vulnerable to addictions, depression, and even suicide. Dr. Downs work is acclaimed internationally and has been published in over 27 languages.

With more than 25 years of experience working with gay men from all walks of life, Dr. Downs is a sought-after conference speaker, workshop leader and frequent media commentator on the psychology of gay men. In addition, Dr. Downs is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and has practiced DBT psychotherapy for 20 years.

Designed to provide evidence-based, compassionate and individualized care, Gay Men’s Institute sets a new higher standard in treatment for gay men. “While other facilities provide LGBTQ+ affirming treatment, the Gay Men’s Institute will take this a step further by offering specialized treatment designed to address the specific needs of gay men struggling with addiction and associated emotional and behavioral problems,” said Dr. Downs. “I look forward to leading a team of some of the finest behavioral and medical professionals at Gay Men’s Institute, working together to make a positive difference in the gay community and help gay men achieve long-term recovery.”

Dr. Downs holds a B.A. in Psychology from Louisiana Tech University, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Alabama, and earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Nebraska. He has made numerous media appearances, including on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CBS Sunday Morning, and many others, and has been quoted in Vogue, The Guardian, Elle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR’s Morning Edition, Fortune, Newsweek, Out Magazine, The Advocate and The Village Voice.

The Meadows Behavioral Healthcare system is a network of specialized behavioral healthcare programs, individualized addiction recovery centers, and acute psychiatric care centers located throughout the United States. Meadows Behavioral Healthcare is the industry leader in providing evidence-based healthcare treatment for people struggling with emotional trauma, drug and alcohol addiction, sex addiction, eating disorders, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring conditions. The full continuum of programs and services deliver personalized treatment plans to people of all walks of life, meeting them at their point of need to help achieve long-term recovery. This treatment approach, which is rooted in decades of clinical experience treating childhood and relational trauma, addiction, eating disorders and mental illness, has established a strong foundation of trust among its patients, referring healthcare partners and the local communities served. For more information on the Meadows Behavioral Healthcare continuum of treatment services, please visit or call 800-244-4949.

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PRACTICE MANAGEMENT HEALTH HOSPITALS MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMER GAY & LESBIAN GENERAL HEALTH MEN MANAGED CARE

Gay brains structured like those of the opposite sex

Some physical attributes of the homosexual brain resemble those found in the opposite sex. These images show the amygdala in heterosexual men and women (labeled HeM and HeW) and homosexual and women (labeled HoM and HoW)

Brain scans have provided the most compelling evidence yet that being gay or straight is a biologically fixed trait.

The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex.

Program Overview

Gay Men’s Institute specializes in treating the LGBTQ community by offering individual and group therapy sessions that address any struggles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. We are sensitive to patients‘ needs in treatment, respecting patients‘ gender identity and their family of choice for family therapy sessions.

In addition to its residential/inpatient program, Gay Men’s Institute Desert Palms (formerly Sunspire Health Desert Palms) offers onsite sub-acute social detox (when necessary), Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at a separate Gay Men’s Institute sober living building. Each patient receives individualized treatment based on his or her specific needs for recovery. Patients have many different varieties of therapy available during treatment, including individual therapy, CBT, psycho-education, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and adventure therapy. Alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, and animal-assisted therapy are also offered.

Our highly trained team of physicians, nurses, therapists and residential staff are addiction specialists who will get to know each patient in order to develop an individualized recovery plan. The facility has a high staff-to-patient ratio, ensuring that each patient receives the personalized care he or she deserves.

The clinical staff at Gay Men’s Institute specializes in treating co-occurring mental health disorders like depression and anxiety and have expertise in helping patients to overcome traumatic military, sexual, or early childhood experiences that may have contributed to the development of substance abuse. Additionally, many of those working with patients at Gay Men’s Institute have lived experience with addiction or trauma, giving them a deep understanding of the struggles patients may be facing.

Our staff also works closely with young adults ranging from 18-25 years old who enter our residential program with unique triggers and concerns, as well as those who may have been through multiple rehab programs in the past but continue to struggle with relapse and require group therapy catered to these issues.

Treatment and Philosophy

Gay Men’s Institute is located just outside of the luxury destination of Palm Springs on property that was once a Hollywood movie set and boutique hotel. The facility’s palm tree-lined landscape with desert mountain views provides an ideal environment for escaping the chaos of addiction and healing in body, mind, and spirit. With 36 beds available and nursing staff on-site 24 hours a day, the facility offers resort-like accommodations that give peace of mind to men and women seeking a life of sobriety. Patients have access to an onsite outdoor pool, jacuzzi, and recreation room outfitted with a television and computers. Gay Men’s Institute also has a commercial-grade kitchen where its staff chef prepares nutritious and delicious meals three times per day.

Gay and bisexual men are changing their sexual habits to help tackle coronavirus.

Researchers conducted the study to predict short term changes in rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The results indicate that queer men are changing their sexual behaviour in an effort to reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting COVID-19.

“Gay and bisexual men have adjusted their prevention strategies throughout the HIV epidemic to protect themselves and each other,” said the study’s lead author Dr Mohamed A. Hammoud.

“Our community has a long history of creating innovative strategies to reduce risk, and we are seeing this continue with this new health challenge.”

Meanwhile, the paper’s senior author Garrett Prestage noted that queer men have “dramatically” reduced sexual contact to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“As a consequence, it is also likely that we will see a reduction in new HIV and STI diagnoses in the short term,” he said.

“Trends in these diagnoses are likely to fluctuate significantly in response to changes in physical distancing restrictions.”

Researchers will also analyse the impact the pandemic has had on queer men’s mental heath.

Responses to the survey are also being analysed to understand the impact the pandemic has had on the mental and social health of gay and bisexual men.

“We thank every participant who has taken the time to respond,” Dr Hammoud said.

“Often this has been accompanied by raw and moving detail about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

“Despite the often negative impacts on individuals, we must recognise their investment in the health of themselves and their peers.”

There are now more than 17 million confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world, with more than 670,000 confirmed deaths.

An estimated 11 million people have recovered from the virus.

Queer people across the world have been reigning in their sexual practices since March in an effort to slow the spread of the infection.

The Brain and Sex

While earlier brain imaging studies have shown differences in brain activation between gay and straight men and women when measuring sexual attraction, the study is among the first to show the differences in areas unrelated to sexuality.

„This and other research seems to be sending the same message, which is that sexual orientation is part of a package. It is not an isolated trait,“ says neuroscientist Simon LeVay, PhD, who has long studied sexuality and the brain.

‚A Strong Case‘

Fifty of the study participants also underwent three-dimensional imaging involving positron emission tomography (PET), designed to measure activation within the brain.

In general, the PET imaging revealed what the authors termed „remarkable similarity“ between straight women and homosexual men in the connectivity of a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which plays a key role in emotional reactions.

LeVay, who is gay, says the research as a whole makes a strong case for homosexuality being a function of biology and not choice.

Statistically stronger

The latest study involves about three times as many people as the previous largest study, which means it is significantly more statistically robust.

Over the past five years, Sanders has collected blood and saliva samples from 409 pairs of gay brothers, including non-identical twins, from 384 families. This compares, for example, with 40 pairs of brothers recruited for Hamer’s study.

The team combed through the samples, looking at the locations of genetic markers called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – differences of a single letter in the genetic code – and measuring the extent to which each of the SNPs were shared by the men in the study.

The only trait unequivocally shared by all 818 men was being gay. All other traits, such as hair colour, height and intelligence, varied by different degrees between each brothers in a pair and between all sets of brothers. Therefore, any SNPs consistently found in the same genetic locations across the group would most likely be associated with sexual orientation.

Only five SNPs stood out and of these, the ones most commonly shared were from the Xq28 and 8q12 regions on the X chromosome and chromosome 8 respectively. But this doesn’t mean the study found two “gay genes”. Both regions contain many genes, and the next step will be to home in on which ones might be contributing to sexual orientation.

Sanders says he has already completed the work for that next step: he has compared SNPs in those specific regions in gay and straight men to see if there are obvious differences in the gene variants, and is now preparing the results for publication. “Through this study, we have the potential to narrow down to fewer genes,” says Sanders.

Not just genetic

Whatever the results, Sanders stresses that complex traits such as sexual orientation depend on multiple factors, both environmental and genetic. Even if he has hit on individual genes, they will likely only have at most a small effect on their own, as has also been seen in studies of the genetic basis for intelligence, for example.

Other researchers who have looked at the biological origins of sexual orientation have welcomed the latest findings, saying they help resolve contradictory results from earlier, smaller studies. “The most pleasing aspect is that the confirmation comes from a team that was in the past somewhat sceptical and critical of the earlier findings,” says Andrea Camperio Ciani of the University of Padua in Italy.

“This study knocks another nail into the coffin of the ‘chosen lifestyle’ theory of homosexuality,” says Simon LeVay, the neuroscientist and writer who, in 1991, claimed to have found that a specific brain region, within the hypothalamus, is smaller in gay men. “Yes, we have a choice in life, to be ourselves or to conform to someone else’s idea of normality, but being straight, bisexual or gay, or none of these, is a central part of who we are, thanks in part to the DNA we were born with.”

“Much hard work now lies ahead to identify the specific genes involved and how they work, as well as to find equivalent genes in women,” he adds.

Hamer himself, now a documentary film-maker, is delighted with the result. “Twenty years is a long time to wait for validation, but now it’s clear the original results were right,” he says. “It’s very nice to see it confirmed.”

“Gay gene discovery has good and bad implications“

Journal reference: Psychological Medicine, DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714002451

When this article was first published, we said that all the participants in the study were non-identical twins. They are in fact pairs of brothers, although some are non-identical twins.

Brain symmetry

To get round this, Savic and her colleague, Per Lindström, chose to measure brain parameters likely to have been fixed at birth.

“That was the whole point of the study, to show parameters that differ, but which couldn’t be altered by learning or cognitive processes,” says Savic.

First they used MRI scans to find out the overall volume and shapes of brains in a group of 90 volunteers consisting of 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender.

The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women.

The team next used PET scans to measure blood flow to the amygdala, part of the brain that governs fear and aggression. The images revealed how the amygdala connected to other parts of the brain, giving clues to how this might influence behaviour.

Depression link

They found that the patterns of connectivity in gay men matched those of straight women, and vice versa (see image, above right). In straight women and gay men, the connections were mainly into regions of the brain that manifest fear as intense anxiety.

“The regions involved in phobia, anxiety and depression overlap with the pattern we see from the amygdala,” says Savic.

This is significant, she says, and fits with data showing that women are three times as likely as men to suffer from mood disorders or depression. Gay men have higher rates of depression too, she says, but it’s difficult to know whether this is down to biology, homophobia or simply feelings of being “different”.

In straight men and lesbians, the amygdala fed its signals mainly into the sensorimotor cortex and the striatum, regions of the brain that trigger the “fight or flight” response. “It’s a more action-related response than in women,” says Savic.

‘Striking differences’

“This study demonstrates that homosexuals of both sexes show strong cross-sex shifts in brain symmetry,” says Qazi Rahman, a leading researcher on sexual orientation at Queen Mary college, University of London, UK.

“The connectivity differences reported in the amygdala are striking.”

“Paradoxically, it’s more informative to look at things that have no direct connection with sexual orientation, and that’s where this study scores,” says Simon LeVay, a prominent US author who in 1991 reported finding differences (pdf) in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus between straight and gay men.

But as Savic herself acknowledges, the study can’t say whether the brain differences are inherited, or result from abnormally high or low exposure in the womb to sex hormones such as testosterone.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0801566105)

Fall is in the air and if you’re a student in college…

..’s a new year to explore your campus, explore yourself, and explore your sexuality. Whether you’re a freshman, a graduate, or a 6th-year super senior, this list is for every gay guy whose experienced college in one-way or another.

During these best, most formative years of your life, you’ll do so many incredible things you’d never dream of before. And while college is usually a time of unpredictability and spontaneity, we’re going to go out on a limb and say here are 23 things every gay guy is guaranteed to experience (at least once!) in college.

Why I took part in gene study, and what it means to me

As a doctor, I recognise the importance of furthering science through legitimate research. As a gay man, I’ve known that my sexuality has never been a choice but I could not explain, to myself or anyone else, how I became this way. Genetics and environmental influences seemed logical. This study is an attempt to answer the genetics part of the question.

The results may provide validation for homosexual men who have asked the same questions that I have. They may improve the self-esteem of the many men who have asked “why me?”, or have felt ostracised, prejudiced, put down, left out, demonised, or worse. They might possibly change the minds of those who believe homosexuality is a “choice” rather than something predetermined.

However, it is important that the findings be put in context. Inevitable headlines like “Gay gene discovered” or “It’s not a choice” over-egg the results. Just because there is a genetic link to homosexuality, it does not necessarily guarantee one will end up gay. The genes, if and when they are identified, may only predispose one to the possibility of being gay, should the required environmental, nutritional or other unknown factors be present at critical stages of development.

On a darker level, some may use the results to justify a belief that homosexuality is the result of a “broken” or “deviant” gene that needs to be fixed. Imagine parents requesting a genetic test on their unborn fetus, or worse, a government rolling out mandatory testing of all unborn children, and using compulsory abortions to cleanse the gene pool. There is enough hate in the world that this concept is not as outrageous as one might think.

Despite this, I remain hopeful that our world will continue to evolve into a safer and more accepting place for everyone. While some countries are going backwards, there is a greater openness around the world to homosexuality. This openness, coupled with scientific fact, will bring a greater understanding of human sexuality to a new generation.

an AEDP TriState Seminarat Mt. Sinai West in NYCwith Ben Lipton and Ben Medley

Perhaps with the exception of anger, emotions are feminized and shamed in our society. For men, this has created a pernicious demand for defensive strategies of denial and dissociation that conceal underlying shame and unbearable feelings of aloneness. As a result, men have been thwarted from reaping the psychological and social rewards of feeling one’s emotions. The cost of this phenomenon, not only in terms of personal well-being, but also societal development, has been great.

For gay men, growing up in a world that favors and expects heterosexuality can be a doubly alienating and traumatic experience. From a very early age, boys become aware of homophobia and heterosexism and begin to receive clear messages that being gay is not okay. Often these boys, adolescents and, eventually, grown men are left carrying their struggles, and the pathogenic feelings attached to being gay in a homophobic world, alone.

With its specific focus on accessing and processing emotion from a therapeutic stance of affirmation and authenticity, AEDP offers the clinician theoretical knowledge and a set of operational tools particularly well suited to address the psychological needs of men, both gay and straight. By dyadically co-creating new, positive experiences and deeply processing adaptive emotions in the context of a supportive, authentic, emotionally engaged relationship, men can recover and discover themselves. For straight men, this experience opens the door to possibilities of relating to themselves and others with authenticity and compassion. For gay men, this experience goes one step further by undoing the shame of internalized homophobia and allowing their True Selves to be seen, affirmed, and integrated.

Using extensive videotape from their clinical work, the presenters will illustrate specific ways that AEDP can be used to address the therapeutic needs of men that so often center on shame and aloneness. Through the lens of AEDP theory and technique, we will first examine the ways that AEDP’s focus on healing attachment trauma provides a framework for work with gay men. Then, we will explore the paradoxical ways in which gay male therapists, grounded in the AEDP therapeutic stance, seem to offer unique opportunities for healing the psychological wounds of their straight male clients.

Meet the Presenters

Benjamin Lipton, LCSW, is a founding faculty member of the AEDP Institute. He is based in New York City and travels nationally and internationally to teach and present AEDP to a broad range of professional audiences. Mr. Lipton pioneered the first AEDP Advanced Core Training programs (Bay Area and Seattle) and currently co-leads the AEDP Retreat Style Essential Skills course. His open and engaging teaching style and skill in translating complex ideas into clear and accessible learning points receives consistent praise from his audiences. Mr. Lipton is the editor of From Crisis to Crossroads: Gay Men Living with Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities (Haworth Press) and has published many clinical articles and book chapters in psychology and social service journals over the past two decades. His most recent article, co-authored with Diana Fosha, is on working with attachment in AEDP; Attachment as a Transformative Process in AEDP: Operationalizing the Intersection of Attachment Theory and Affective Neuroscience. Mr. Lipton has held adjunct faculty appointments at Columbia Presbyterian Department of Psychiatry and New York University School of Social Work and he serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. Previously, he was the Director of Clinical Services at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the world’s first and largest HIV/AIDS service organization. In addition to his expertise in AEDP, Mr. Lipton has training in EMDR, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing, Solution-Focused therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Mr. Lipton is committed to the foundational principle of human development that change for the better, at every level of civilization, flourishes when people feel safe enough to be curious and take necessary risks. He is passionately dedicated to bringing this alive in both his practice and teaching.

Ben Medley LCSW-R has a private practice in the Flatiron District, NYC where he works with individuals and couples and offers supervision to other therapists. Ben earned his degree with NYU’s clinical social work program and is a Certified AEDP Therapist and AEDP Supervisor in Training as well as a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist. Before private practice, he worked as a therapist in the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services outpatient mental health clinic as a member of their LGBTQ treatment unit. In addition, Ben worked in Greenwich House’s HIV Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Programs and developed a mental health program for college students studying abroad in Florence, Italy. He has assisted with the NY Immersion Course with Diana Fosha, NY AEDP retreat style ES1 Essential Skills Course with Ben Lipton and Eileen Russell and now the NY ES1 Essential Skills Course with Natasha Prenn. He has also presented for the NY Ongoing Learning Community and will be co-presenting with Ben Lipton in May 2017 for the NY AEDP workshop series. Ben just started AEDP Jumpstart-a short-term group supervision to get started showing AEDP videos and applying AEDP theory and techniques in clinical work. Want to know more? Ask him! (or check out his website )

Agenda

9:15-10:30 – The Emotional Challenges of Being a Man

1:45-3:15 – What Gay Therapists can offer Straight Men

Continued

In 1991, LeVay was among the first to identify differences in the brains of homosexual and heterosexual people when his research identified a small region of the hypothalamus that was larger in straight men than in women and gay men.

Among other things, the hypothalamus is involved with regulating sexual response.

In the newly reported study, published online Monday in the journal researchers analyzed the brains of 90 gay or straight men and women using MR imaging.

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The differences are likely to have been forged in the womb or in early infancy, says Ivanka Savic, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

“This is the most robust measure so far of cerebral differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects,” she says.

Previous studies have also shown differences in brain architecture and activity between gay and straight people, but most relied on people’s responses to sexuality driven cues that could have been learned, such as rating the attractiveness of male or female faces.