Researchers at the University of Toronto say homosexual men may also develop psychological problems as a consequence of feeling undesirable.
Adam Isaiah Green interviewed dozens of gay men in Toronto to determine what qualities made some men more sexually desirable than others, and what the consequences of being undesirable might be on mental and physical health.
"I found that young, white, middle-class men are considered much more sexually desirable than men who are racial minorities, over 40 and poor," Green said in a statement. "I also learned that for gay men, being considered sexually undesirable can have serious health consequences, ranging from psychological issues to risky sexual behavior."
The study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that undesirable gay men face stigmatization, avoidance and outright rejection, which can lead to depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse. It also highlighted cases whereby undesirable gay men will forgo safe-sex discussion and, in some cases, condom use, in the context of sex with a more attractive partner.