Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 827-837

First online:

A Qualitative Exploration of the Relationship Between Racism and Unsafe Sex Among Asian Pacific Islander Gay Men

  • Chong-suk HanAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, Temple University Email author 

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Although reported cases of HIV/AIDS among gay Asian Pacific Islander (API) American men and API men who have sex with men (MSM) are still relatively low, current research findings indicate that incidences of unsafe sexual activity may be higher for this group than for any other group. Among the explanations offered to explain the levels of increasing unsafe sex among gay API men have been sexual norms found in Asian cultures, the lack of culturally relevant and/or linguistically appropriate intervention material, lack of integration into the mainstream gay community, and internalized homophobia. What are often ignored in these analyses are the contextual norms in which sexual behavior for gay API men occur. In this article, I develop the argument that racism within the gay community leads to socially and contextually prescribed sexual roles for gay API men that may also contribute to the practice of unsafe sex among this group.


Gay men HIV risk Sexuality Racism Unsafe sex