According to research published by the Journal of Clinical Nursing, gay men who identify as bears are more likely to suffer depression and participate in high-risk sex. The study entitled Physical, Psychosocial, and Social Health of Men who Identify as Bears: A Systematic Review found that "bears" face self-esteem issues related to the perception of their body related to having a large body size.
The typical gay male image is slim, soft-skinned young gay men and many bears are directly the opposite, producing a low self esteem. The study also stated bears tend to have higher risk sexual practices, such as sex without a condom, fisting, suffocation, voyeurism and exhibitionism.
Is this true? Do you believe lower self esteem can lead to riskier sex behavior?
Finally, could it be a particular assumption and stereotype that all bears are overweight gay men who are so desperate for attention that they’ll risk their health in order to get laid and thereby validated?
This also assumed gay men who are bears are unhappy with their bodies. It also pushes gay men who may be heavier into a subcategory of body types that may not identify with. Remember, being a bear is as much about being part of a community as it is having a certain body type.
Many gay bears are: