Gay male identity acquisition, community identification, internalized homophobia, and sexual risk-taking behavior among gay and bisexual men

William Fotes Hanjorgiris, Fordham University

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be newly infected with HIV or diagnosed with AIDS each year despite considerable HIV/AIDS education and intervention efforts. While the overall rate of HIV infection among MSM has declined since 1985, MSM continue to account for a disproportionate number of AIDS-related deaths in the United States. Understanding the differences among MSM who do and do not consistently practice safer sex is essential if further cases of HIV-infection are to be avoided. The present study investigated sexual risk-taking behaviors of MSM as they relate to gay identity development, group affiliation, self-identification as gay or bisexual, and internalized homophobia. If potential barriers to safer sexual behavior could be identified among the variables investigated, the information gained could be used to efficiently target limited funds and resources toward developing effective HIV-prevention strategies that include concerns related to individual sexual and group identity development. An ex-post-facto design was utilized and 1,800 surveys were distributed to gay and bisexual men in New York City during June 1995 (Gay Pride Month). Completed information packets, which included a demographic questionnaire, a gay identity development scale (individual and group), an internalized homophobia scale, and a sexual activities questionnaire, were returned by 445 men. Participants identified as gay $(n=397)$ and bisexual $(n=48),$ aged 17-75, represented a variety of ethnic, religious, SES, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Chi squares, crosstabs, ANOVAs, and t tests were computed. While no significant relationship was found among sexual risk-taking behavior and the variables investigated, significant findings related to demographic variables did emerge. Study findings are discussed, limitations are enumerated, the importance of findings for counseling psychologists is presented, and suggestions for future research are offered. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Social|Health Sciences, Public Health|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

William Fotes Hanjorgiris, "Gay male identity acquisition, community identification, internalized homophobia, and sexual risk-taking behavior among gay and bisexual men" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9729603.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9729603

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