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Health Psychol. 2015 Aug;34(8):841-6. doi: 10.1037/hea0000187. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Racial and sexual identities as potential buffers to risky sexual behavior for Black gay and bisexual emerging adult men.

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Department of Psychology.



Emerging adult Black gay and bisexual men represent intersections of social groups that are greatly impacted by the HIV epidemic (i.e., young, Black, gay/bisexual). Given their vulnerability to HIV, it is imperative to understand how these social identities may also promote resilience, and point to protective factors that may aid in our development of population-specific HIV prevention interventions.


An online survey of the experiences of Black lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults was administered. The current study assessed the intersection of identities and sexual risk behavior for a subsample of this population; 120 Black gay and bisexual young men (Mage = 21.79, SD = 3.08).


Using hierarchical linear regression, higher levels of racial centrality (degree to which being Black is central to ones identity) and racial public regard (perceptions of societal views toward Black Americans) predicted decreases in risky sexual behavior (total anal sex acts and unprotected anal sex acts).


Researchers and interventionist should consider the ways in which racial centrality may be a critical tool in our efforts to decrease the HIV epidemic among young Black gay and bisexual men in America.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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