Dr. Christian Grov, Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and colleagues examined the associations of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and education in a national cohort of gay and bisexual men in the United States. The findings were published in the journal Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology.
[Photo: Dr. Christian Grov]
This study examined the rates of spirituality, religiosity, religious coping, and religious service attendance in addition to the sociodemographic correlates of those factors in a U.S. national cohort of 1,071 racially and ethnically diverse HIV-negative gay and bisexual men.
Descriptive statistics were used to assess levels of spirituality, religiosity, religious coping, and religious service attendance. Multivariable regressions were used to determine the associations between sociodemographic characteristics, religious affiliation, and race/ethnicity with four outcome variables: (1) spirituality, (2) religiosity, (3) religious coping, and (4) current religious service attendance.
Overall, participants endorsed low levels of spirituality, religiosity, and religious coping, as well as current religious service attendance. Education, religious affiliation, and race/ethnicity were associated with differences in endorsement of spirituality and religious beliefs and behaviors among gay and bisexual men. Men without a 4-year college education had significantly higher levels of religiosity and religious coping as well as higher odds of attending religious services than those with a 4-year college education. Gay and bisexual men who endorsed being religiously affiliated had higher levels of spirituality, religiosity, and religious coping as well as higher odds of religious service attendance than those who endorsed being atheist/agnostic. White men had significantly lower levels of spirituality, religiosity, and religious coping compared to Black men. Latino men also endorsed using religious coping significantly less than Black men.
The authors concluded that for many gay and bisexual men, spirituality and religion may not be that important. However when working with those who have lower levels of education, who are religiously affiliated and who are Black, spirituality and religion remain important across the life span even when religious attendance wanes.