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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers: Study Examines Intersectional Discrimination, Positive Feelings, and Health Among Black Sexual Minority Men

A recent Rutgers School of Public Health study found that positive feelings, in addition to discrimination, play an important role in the psychological and sexual health of Black sexual minority men (SMM), especially early in their lives.

Led by Dr. Devin English, an assistant professor in the Department of Urban-Global Public Health, researchers examined how psychological and sexual health is associated with positive feelings and discrimination at the intersection of race and gender among Black gay, bisexual, and other SMM.

The researchers surveyed 1,064 Black SMM who were a part of a national sample that self-report measures of positive feelings and discrimination associated with being a Black man, psychological distress, self-efficacy, emotional awareness, sexual human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk and protective behavior.

“The present study provides evidence for the protective effect of having positive feelings about being a Black man on psychological and sexual health among Black SMM,” said Dr. English.

“The intersectionality framework challenges researchers to do justice by the communities with whom they are doing research and strive to represent the complexity of their experience. Unfortunately, much of the public health research to date has settled into the space of focusing only on discrimination, risk, and vulnerability among Black same gender loving men without also considering positive experiences, protection, and resilience. What our study suggests, however, is that positive feelings are just as, if not more, important than discrimination for the health of these men,” he added.

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