A new and innovative study by Stanford University has found that indoor tanning salons can be aimed specifically at gay people. Not only that, but gay men exhibit higher rates of skin cancer. The researchers are now wondering: Could there be a connection?
The study analyzed ten major cities in the USA. USA: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Dallas, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Portland and Denver.
The researchers found that indoor tanning salons were twice as likely to be found one kilometer away from a gay neighborhood than a neighborhood composed mostly of heterosexual people.
Coincidentally, or perhaps accordingly, the researchers also found that gay and bisexual men are more likely to develop skin cancer than their heterosexual counterparts.
Newsweek Newspaper reports say:
Each year, indoor tanning is believed to cause more than 460,000 cases of skin cancer in the general population. Compared to heterosexual men, it is believed that gay and bisexual men are twice as likely to have skin cancer, and six times more likely to use a tanning bed in the course of their lives.
“If tanning facilities are available right next to your home,” concludes Dr. Eleni Linos, a professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Stanford University, “it is probably more likely to use them.”
“This is a big problem because LGBT communities already experience health disparities related to stigma and discrimination,” he tells Newsweek. “Also, gay men have disproportionately higher rates of skin cancer.”
Researchers are careful to point out that it is unclear whether the indoor tanning industry is deliberately chasing gay men, but, according to Linos, “it is definitely something that worries me a lot.”
However, people on Twitter seem much less worried.
So gay men have no agency? If they see a tanning bed they can’t help it.
– scabbyjiz (@scabbyjiz) October 7, 2019
I have long suspected that tanning salons are facades of homophobic hate groups trying to kill homosexual men. https://t.co/HFsetJeYd9
– Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) October 7, 2019
Or could it be that gay men want tanning salons, therefore, there are more tanning salons to satisfy that desire and there is absolutely nothing sinister going on? https://t.co/azSMZljHle
– Kala, the not so general (@ pkelley9) October 7, 2019
Gay men could be opening tanning salons https://t.co/CuIA0i3Nuu
– Morgan Warstler (@morganwarstler) October 7, 2019
In other news, large retailers such as Best Buy and Target are more likely to be found in suburban areas outside the big cities of the United States, and teenagers are more likely than any other demographic to be seen in shopping centers.
On a more serious note, however: Skin cancer is not a joke and everyone should be careful when it comes to UV exposure.