Effects of Homophobia on Sexual Risk Taking among MSM in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Thailand, the United States and the United Kingdom

Anna Chard, Emory University
Catherine Finneran, Emory University

We examine three areas of homophobia -- homophobic discrimination, internalized homophobia, and heteronormative social pressure -- and their associations with sexual risk-taking among a sample of internet-recruited men who have sex with men (MSM). Internet-using, sexually active MSM aged over 18 in 7 countries were recruited through Facebook. Three outcomes were examined through linear regression: reporting homophobic discrimination, internalized homophobia, and heteronormative social pressure. Analysis focused on associations between these outcomes and reported sexual risk taking. Preliminary findings suggest that reporting of homophobia did not vary across demographic characteristics but was significantly associated with reporting participation in sexual risk taking. Results demonstrate the potentially harmful effect of homophobia on MSM’s sexual behaviors across contexts, and highlight the need for inclusion of homophobia as a physical and mental health risk factor. Additional research should focus on incorporating experiences of homophobia in HIV/AIDS and STI counseling and testing tools.

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Presented in Poster Session 6