STUDY: Gay Men Tan More And Have Double The Incidence Of Skin Cancer
USA Today reports:
Gay and bisexual men in the United States are twice as likely as heterosexual men to get skin cancer, a new study shows. One likely reason: Gay and bisexual men are three times more likely to engage in indoor tanning, according to the study to be presented Friday in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.Nobody can be surprised by this.
The study suggests that anti-tanning messages, most often aimed at young women, need to be broader, says researcher Sarah Arron, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. "The primary reason that men and women engage in indoor tanning is because of the cultural association of tanning with a healthy look and overall attractiveness," Arron says. "We need to dispel the myth of the healthy tan."
Gay and bisexual women in California were less likely than straight women to tan indoors. The researchers then looked at national health survey data for 2013 and found the same thing: A history of skin cancer was twice as common in gay and bisexual men as in straight men, 6.6% vs. 3.3%. About 5% of gay and bisexual men said they had engaged in indoor tanning in the past year vs. 1.7% of straight men. Gay and bisexual women were, again, less likely than straight women to report indoor tanning.