Racial Identity, Masculinity and Homosexuality in the Lives of Young Black Men who Have Sex with Men: Implications for HIV Risk
Findings. Homosexual conflict emerged as a core theme in the data. Informants described conflict between homosexuality and nearly every other aspect of their lives including expectations of masculinity, religion, reference group expectations and racial identity/group membership. Study participants described varying reactions to this conflict that ranged from disavowal to recurrent stress and strain. This sense of conflict seemed to be fueled by reference group norms and attitudes about homosexuality and expectations of masculinity. The informants' reactions to this conflict seemed to be affected by group identity and level of attachment to one's reference group and the degree of normative orientation and apparent stage of ego identity development. Conflicts between homosexuality and cultural expectations of masculinity were the most profound. The study findings suggest that negotiation of same-sex behavior and/or identity in the context of cultural expectations of masculinity that disavow homosexuality may have important implications for HIV risk. Data show that race-specific conceptions of masculinity and gender role expectations may influence partner selection, prevention heuristics, and condom decision making.
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Research Design and Methods
Social Context of HIV Sexual Risk Behavior
Identity and Identity Development
Social Norms and Expectations
Conceptions of Masculinity
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