The Sexual Health in Faith Traditions Study evaluated the relationships between religiosity, spirituality, internalized homonegativity, and sexual risk behaviors among a sample of African American men who have sex with men living in the Deep South.
[Photo: Dr. Stacy Smallwood]
Participants were recruited primarily from Black Gay Pride celebrations to complete a self-administered, paper-and-pencil survey. Structural equation modeling was used to determine relationships between key constructs and condom use for insertive (n = 285) and receptive (n = 263) anal intercourse in the past three months. Almost half of respondents reported using condoms “every time” when engaging in insertive (48.3 percent) or receptive (45.1 percent) anal intercourse.
Religiosity and spirituality were differentially associated with dimensions of internalized homonegativity. While no significant direct relationships were reported between either religiosity or spirituality and condom use, dimensions of internalized homonegativity mediated significant indirect relationships. Findings suggest that religiosity and spirituality influence African American men who have sex with men’s internalized homonegativity and, subsequently, engagement in safer sex behaviors.
“Examining the Relationships Between Religiosity, Spirituality, Internalized Homonegativity, and Condom Use Among African American Men Who Have Sex With Men in the Deep South,” was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health.
Dr. Stacy Smallwood, assistant professor of community health behavior & education at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University, was the lead author.