The hostile-world scenario among Israeli homosexual adolescents and young adults


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Geva Shenkman, School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail:


This study identified relevant themes within the hostile-world scenario (HWS) concept among lesbian and gay adolescents and young adults. The HWS refers to an image of major threats to one's physical and mental integrity, and thus presents a meaningful structure of stressors that may be particularly aggravated among stigmatized minorities. An Israeli sample of 219 homosexuals (136 men, 83 women; mean age 20.9) was compared with 219 matched heterosexuals. Results showed gays and lesbians as more concerned with HWS themes of victimization (by crime and discrimination), lack of social and family support, poor health condition, disrupted relationships, and aging. This study specifies ingredients of vulnerability among homosexuals in face of challenging life conditions.