"I found that young, white, middle-class men are considered much more sexually desirable than men who are racial minorities, over 40 and poor," said Adam Isaiah Green, Assistant Professor of Sociology at U of T.
"I also learned that for gay men, being considered sexually undesirable can have serious health consequences ranging from psychological issues to risky sexual behaviour," he added.
The study showed that undesirable gay men face stigmatization, avoidance and outright rejection, which can lead to depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse.
Due to which, they tend to forego safe-sex discussion and, in some cases, condom use, in the context of sex with a more attractive partner.
"We tend to devalue sexual life as something that is extracurricular and frivolous, but this research shows a significant link between sexual desirability and health," said Green.
"Men with low levels of 'erotic capital' are systematically marginalized, which can take a real toll both physically and psychologically," he added.
The study is published in the current edition of the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.