Date of Conferral







Tracy Marsh


Gay males have higher than average rates of suicidal ideation, which has been attributed in part to the pressure to conform to societal religious norms. Using the theoretical frameworks of Durkheim and of Pescosolido and Georgianna, the purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the role of religiosity as a factor of suicidal ideation in gay males. In this study, 113 gay males completed an online survey regarding their level of religiosity as measured by the Religious Background and Behaviors Questionnaire, past suicidal ideation as measured by the Suicidal Ideation Measure, and certain predictor variables, including being "out" to family members, family being supportive, age, religious affiliation (current and during childhood), ethnicity, and population of town during childhood. Regression analyses found no direct statistical significance between level of religiosity and suicidal ideation. There was a predictive relationship, however, between level of family support, level of religiosity, and suicidal ideation. These findings support the Pescosolido and Georgianna theory that belongingness reduces suicidal ideation. The implications for positive social change include the need for mental health professionals to highlight the importance of positive support for gay males as a potential buffer to suicidal ideation.