Assessment of stigma towards homosexuality in China: a study of men who have sex with men.
ABSTRACT Previous research has documented the deleterious impact of homosexuality stigma on HIV sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM) and the vulnerability of this group in China for HIV acquisition. Factor analysis of 10 survey items from 477 MSM from Shanghai yielded two factors: Perceived stigma assessed participants' impressions of the degree of societal stigmatization of homosexuals whereas enacted stigma measured direct personal experiences of stigmatizing behaviors. Enacted stigma exhibited satisfactory internal reliability and was associated with HIV sexual risk behavior. Further research is needed to refine perceived and other stigma constructs for Chinese MSM.
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ABSTRACT: Ghanaian men who have sex with men (MSM) have high rates of HIV infection. A first step in designing culturally relevant prevention interventions for MSM in Ghana is to understand the influence that peer social networks have on their attitudes and behaviors. We aimed to examine whether, in a sample of Ghanaian MSM, mean scores on psychosocial variables theorized to influence HIV/STI risk differed between peer social networks and to examine whether these variables were associated with condom use. We conducted a formative, cross-sectional survey with 22 peer social networks of MSM (n=137) in Ghana. We assessed basic psychological-needs satisfaction, HIV/STI knowledge, sense of community, HIV and gender non-conformity stigmas, gender equitable norms, sexual behavior and condom use. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance, generalized estimating equations, and Wilcoxon two sample tests. All models were adjusted for age and income, ethnicity, education, housing and community of residence. Mean scores for all psychosocial variables differed significantly by social network. Men who reported experiencing more autonomy support by their healthcare providers had higher odds of condom use for anal (AOR=3.29, p<0.01), oral (AOR=5.06, p<0.01) and vaginal (AOR=1.8, p<0.05) sex. Those with a stronger sense of community also had higher odds of condom use for anal sex (AOR=1.26, p<0.001). Compared to networks with low prevalence of consistent condom users, networks with higher prevalence of consistent condom users had higher STD and HIV knowledge, had norms that were more supportive of gender equity, and experienced more autonomy support in their healthcare encounters. Healthcare providers and peer social networks can have an important influence on safer-sex behaviors in Ghanaian MSM. More research with Ghanaian MSM is needed that considers knowledge, attitudes, and norms of their social networks in the development and implementation of culturally relevant HIV/STI prevention intervention strategies.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 10(1). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115504 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women experience pervasive sexual stigma that harms wellbeing. Stigma is a multi-dimensional construct and includes perceived stigma, awareness of negative attitudes towards one’s group, and enacted stigma, overt experiences of discrimination. Despite its complexity, sexual stigma research has generally explored singular forms of sexual stigma among LBQ women. The study objective was to develop a scale to assess perceived and enacted sexual stigma among LBQ women.We adapted a sexual stigma scale for use with LBQ women. The validation process involved 3 phases. First, we held a focus group where we engaged a purposively selected group of key informants in cognitive interviewing techniques to modify the survey items to enhance relevance to LBQ women. Second, we implemented an internet-based, cross-sectional survey with LBQ women (n=466) in Toronto, Canada. Third, we administered an internet-based survey at baseline and 6-week follow-up with LBQ women in Toronto (n=24) and Calgary (n=20). We conducted an exploratory factor analysis using principal components analysis and descriptive statistics to explore health and demographic correlates of the sexual stigma scale. Analyses yielded one scale with two factors: perceived and enacted sexual stigma. The total scale and subscales demonstrated adequate internal reliability (total scale alpha coefficient: 0.78; perceived sub-scale: 0.70; enacted sub-scale: 0.72), test-retest reliability, and construct validity. Perceived and enacted sexual stigma were associated with higher rates of depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem, social support, and self-rated health scores. Results suggest this sexual stigma scale adapted for LBQ women has good psychometric properties and addresses enacted and perceived stigma dimensions. The overwhelming majority of participants reported experiences of perceived sexual stigma. This underscores the importance of moving beyond a singular focus on discrimination to explore perceptions of social judgment, negative attitudes and social norms.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(2). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116198 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article examined the associations between three forms of homosexuality-related stigma (enacted, perceived, and internalized homosexual stigmas) with risky sexual behaviors, and to describe the mechanisms of these associations, among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Hanoi, Vietnam. We used respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit 451 MSM into a cross-sectional study conducted from August 2010 to January 2011. Data were adjusted for recruitment patterns due to the RDS approach; logistic regression and path analyses were performed. Participants were young and single; most had attended at least some college. Nine out of ten participants engaged in sexual behaviors at moderate to high risk levels. Compared to those who had no enacted homosexual stigma, men having low and high levels of enacted homosexual stigma, respectively, were 2.23 times (95 % CI 1.35-3.69) and 2.20 times (95 % CI 1.04-4.76) more likely to engage in high levels of sexual risk behaviors. In addition, there was an indirect effect of perceived homosexual stigma and internalized homosexual stigma on sexual risk behaviors through depression and drug and alcohol use. Our study provides valuable information to our understanding of homosexual stigma in Vietnam, highlighting the need for provision of coping skills against stigma to the gay community and addressing drinking and drug use among MSM, to improve the current HIV prevention interventions in Vietnam.Archives of Sexual Behavior 01/2015; 44(2). DOI:10.1007/s10508-014-0450-8 · 3.53 Impact Factor