Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 317–325 | Cite as

Ethnic and Racial Specificity, or Not, in Bisexuality Research: A Practical Commentary

  • Miguel Muñoz-LaboyEmail author
Special Section: Bisexual Health

Abstract

This commentary focuses on reflecting on how we, as bisexuality researchers, consider the effects of, and contribute toward addressing, systemic racism and ethnic discrimination affecting bisexual individuals in different global contexts. This commentary is intended to provoke critical thinking among bisexuality and other sex researchers on how we may best consider (or not) racism and ethnic oppression when dealing with ethnically, racially, or culturally diverse bisexual samples of individuals. In this commentary, I argue that current social and behavioral science researchers who focus on bisexuality tend to follow one or more of the following three approaches: a “color blind” approach, an inclusive approach or, a racially–ethnically specific approach. I will identify the advantages and considerations for taking one approach versus another.

Keywords

Bisexuality Ethnic-racial differences Racism Colorblind racism Latino(a) Racial–ethnic minority Sexual orientation 

References

  1. Adichie, C. N. (2009). Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story [Video file]. TED Talk. Accessed July 18, 2010. https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story
  2. Alexander, K. A., & Fannin, E. F. (2014). Sexual safety and sexual security among young Black women who have sex with women and men. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 43, 509–519.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, V. C., Jr., Myers, H. F., & Williams, J. K. (2014). Depression among Black bisexual men with early and later life adversities. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20, 128–137.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity al large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  5. Barak, A. (2015). Critical consciousness in critical social work: Learning from the theatre of the oppressed. British Journal of Social Work, 45, 1–17.Google Scholar
  6. Barnes, D. M., & Meyer, I. H. (2012). Religious affiliation, internalized homophobia, and mental health in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82, 505–515.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Beyer, M. (2016). Bisexual identities among women in Germany: A sociological approach toward obstacles and opportunities. Journal of Bisexuality, 16, 209–232.Google Scholar
  8. Bobo, L. D. (2017). Racism in Trump’s America: Reflections on culture, sociology, and the 2016 US presidential election. British Journal of Sociology, 68, S85–S104.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonilla-Silva, E. (1997). Rethinking racism: Toward a structural interpretation. American Sociological Review, 62, 465–480.Google Scholar
  10. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2001). White supremacy and racism in the post-civil rights era. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  11. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2017). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  12. Bonilla-Silva, E., & Dietrich, D. (2011). The sweet enchantment of color-blind racism in Obamerica. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 634, 190–206.Google Scholar
  13. Brace, C. L. (1969). A nonracial approach towards the understanding of human diversity. In A. Montagu (Ed.), The concept of race (pp. 103–152). New York: Collier.Google Scholar
  14. Brattain, M. (2007). Race, racism, and antiracism: UNESCO and the politics of presenting science to the postwar public. American Historical Review, 112, 1386–1413.Google Scholar
  15. Brooks-Gunn, J., & Markman, L. B. (2005). The contribution of parenting to ethnic and racial gaps in school readiness. The Future of Children, 15, 139–168.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Chapman, D. (2009). Advanced search features of PubMed. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 18(1), 58.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Chiu, Y. W., & Ring, J. M. (1998). Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant adolescents under pressure: Identifying stressors and interventions. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 29, 444–449.Google Scholar
  18. Collins, P. H. (2002). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Collins, J. F. (2007). Counseling at the intersection of identities: Asian/Pacific American bisexuals. In B. A. Firestein (Ed.), Becoming visible: Counseling bisexuals across the lifespan (pp. 229–245). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Cook, S. H., Sandfort, T. G., Nel, J. A., & Rich, E. P. (2013). Exploring the relationship between gender nonconformity and mental health among black South African gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 327–330.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Dodge, B., Banik, S., Bowling, J., Sivasubramanian, M., Mengle, S., Schick, V., … Anand, V. (2016). Sexual relationships, behaviors, and experiences among bisexual men in Mumbai, India. International Journal of Sexual Health, 28, 70–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2004). Aversive racism. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 1–52.Google Scholar
  23. Dovidio, J. F., Kawakami, K., & Gaertner, S. L. (2000). Reducing contemporary prejudice: Combating explicit and implicit bias at the individual and intergroup level. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), The Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology: Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 137–163). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Eisner, S. (2012). Love, rage and the occupation: Bisexual politics in Israel/Palestine. Journal of Bisexuality, 12, 80–137.Google Scholar
  25. Enck-Wanzer, D. (2011). Barack Obama, the Tea Party, and the threat of race: On racial neoliberalism and born again racism. Communication, Culture & Critique, 4, 23–30.Google Scholar
  26. Feagin, J. R. (Ed.). (2000). Systemic racism: Other Americans of color. In Racist America: Roots, current realities, and future reparations (2nd ed., pp. 221–257). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Feagin, J. R. (Ed.). (2014). Systemic racism: A comprehensive perspective. In Racist America: Roots, current realities, and future reparations (3rd ed., pp. 1–33). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Fernandez, M. I., Hosek, S. G., Hotton, A. L., Gaylord, S. E., Hernandez, N., Alfonso, S. V., & Joseph, H. (2016). A randomized controlled trial of POWER: An Internet-based HIV prevention intervention for Black bisexual men. AIDS and Behavior, 20, 1951–1960.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Frost, D. M., Lehavot, K., & Meyer, I. H. (2015). Minority stress and physical health among sexual minority individuals. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Garcia, J., Muñoz-Laboy, M., Parker, R., & Wilson, P. A. (2014). Sex markets and sexual opportunity structures of behaviorally bisexual Latino men in the urban metropolis of New York City. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 597–606.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Hale, C. R., Calla, P., & Mullings, L. (2017). Race matters in dangerous times: A network of scholar-activists assesses changing racial formations across the Americas—and mobilizes against renewed racist backlash. NACLA Report on the Americas, 49, 81–89.Google Scholar
  32. Harawa, N. T., Obregon, N. B., & McCuller, W. J. (2014a). Partnerships between black women and behaviorally bisexual men: Implications for HIV risk and prevention. Sexuality and Culture, 18, 870–891.Google Scholar
  33. Harawa, N. T., Williams, J. K., McCuller, W. J., Ramamurthi, H. C., Lee, M., Shapiro, M. F., … Cunningham, W. E. (2013). Efficacy of a culturally congruent HIV risk-reduction intervention for behaviorally bisexual black men: Results of a randomized trial. AIDS, 27, 1979–1988.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Harawa, N., Wilton, L., Wang, L., Mao, C., Kuo, I., Penniman, T., … Mayer, K. (2014b). Types of female partners reported by black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) and associations with intercourse frequency, unprotected sex and HIV and STI prevalence. AIDS and Behavior, 18, 1548–1559.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Harell, A., Soroka, S., & Iyengar, S. (2017). Locus of control and anti-immigrant sentiment in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Political Psychology, 38, 245–260.Google Scholar
  36. Harro, B. (2001). The cycle of socialization. In M. Adams, W. Blumenfeld, R. Castañeda, H. Hackman, M. Peters, & X. Zúñiga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 15–21). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Hylton, K. (2012). Talk the talk, walk the walk: Defining critical race theory in research. Race Ethnicity and Education, 15, 23–41.Google Scholar
  38. Jeffries, W. L., Dodge, B., & Sandfort, T. G. (2008). Religion and spirituality among bisexual Black men in the USA. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 10, 463–477.Google Scholar
  39. Kajubi, P., Kamya, M. R., Raymond, H. F., Chen, S., Rutherford, G. W., Mandel, J. S., & McFarland, W. (2008). Gay and bisexual men in Kampala, Uganda. AIDS and Behavior, 12, 492–504.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. King, A. R. (2013). Mixed messages: How primary agents of socialization influence adolescent females who identify as multiracial–bisexual. Journal of LGBT Youth, 10, 308–327.Google Scholar
  41. Kreuter, M. W., Lukwago, S. N., Bucholtz, D. C., Clark, E. M., & Sanders-Thompson, V. (2003). Achieving cultural appropriateness in health promotion programs: Targeted and tailored approaches. Health Education & Behavior, 30, 133–146.Google Scholar
  42. Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. (1995). Social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51S, 80–94.Google Scholar
  43. Lopez, I. F. H. (2010). Is the post in post-racial the blind in color blind. Cardozo Law Review, 32, 807–831.Google Scholar
  44. Lum, D. (Ed.). (2007). Social context. In Culturally competent practice: A framework for understanding diverse groups and justice issues (3rd ed., pp. 42–72). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Brooks Cole.Google Scholar
  45. Lum, L. (2009). The Obama era: A post-racial society? Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 25, 14.Google Scholar
  46. Marmot, M. (2004). Status syndrome. Significance, 1, 150–154.Google Scholar
  47. Marmot, M. (2005). Social determinants of health inequalities. The Lancet, 365, 1099–1104.Google Scholar
  48. Martinez, O., Dodge, B., Goncalves, G., Schnarrs, P. W., Muñoz-Laboy, M., Reece, M., … Fortenberry, J. D. (2012). Sexual behaviors and experiences among behaviorally bisexual Latino men in the Midwestern United States: Implications for sexual health interventions. Journal of Bisexuality, 12, 283–310.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  49. Meuleman, B., Abts, K., Slootmaeckers, K., & Meeusen, C. (2018). Differentiated threat and the genesis of prejudice: Group-specific antecedents of homonegativity, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant attitudes. Social Problems.  https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spy002.Google Scholar
  50. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 674–697.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Miller, J., & Garran, A. M. (2017). Racism in the United States: Implications for the helping professions. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Morris, J. F., & Balsam, K. F. (2003). Lesbian and bisexual women’s experiences of victimization: Mental health, revictimization, and sexual identity development. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 7, 67–85.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Muñoz-Laboy, M. (2004). Beyond ‘MSM’: Sexual desire among bisexually-active Latino men in New York City. Sexualities, 7, 55–80.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Muñoz-Laboy, M. (2008). Familism, sexual regulation and risk among bisexual Latino men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 773–782.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Muñoz-Laboy, M., & Dodge, B. (2007). Which bisexual Latino men are at highest HIV/STI risk? An exploratory analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 97, 1102–1106.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  56. Muñoz-Laboy, M., Garcia, J., Perry, A., Wilson, P., & Parker, R. (2015). Heteronormativity and sexual partnering among bisexual Latino men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 895–902.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Muñoz-Laboy, M. & Severson, N. (2018). Exploring the roles of race, ethnicity, nationality, and skin color in sexual partner choices of bisexual Latino men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47, 1231–1239.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-1043-0.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Muñoz-Laboy, M., Severson, N., & Bannan, S. (2014). Occupations, social vulnerability and HIV/STI risk: The case of bisexual Latino men in the New York City Metropolitan Area. Global Public Health, 9, 1167–1183.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  59. Muñoz-Laboy, M., Severson, N., Garcia, J., Parker, R., & Wilson, P. (2018). “I kick it to both, but not in the street”: Behaviorally bisexual Latino men, gender, and the sexual geography of New York City metropolitan area. Men and Masculinities, 21, 131–149.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X17695036.Google Scholar
  60. Muñoz-Laboy, M., Sririam, V., Weinstein, H., & Vasquez del Aguila, E. (2009). Negotiating bisexual desire and familism: The case of Latino/a bisexual young men and women in New York City. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 11, 331–344.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Nastasi, B. K., Schensul, J. J., De Silva, M. A., Varjas, K., Silva, K. T., Ratnayake, P., & Schensul, S. L. (1998). Community-based sexual risk prevention program for Sri Lankan youth: Influencing sexual-risk decision making. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 18, 139–155.Google Scholar
  62. Phelan, J. C., Link, B. G., Diez-Roux, A., Kawachi, I., & Levin, B. (2004). “Fundamental causes” of social inequalities in mortality: A test of the theory. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45, 265–285.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Plöderl, M., Sellmeier, M., Fartacek, C., Pichler, E. M., Fartacek, R., & Kralovec, K. (2014). Explaining the suicide risk of sexual minority individuals by contrasting the minority stress model with suicide models. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 1559–1570.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Robertson, D. L. (2015). Invisibility in the color-blind era: Examining legitimized racism against indigenous peoples. American Indian Quarterly, 39, 113–153.Google Scholar
  65. Robinson, M. (2014). “A hope to lift both my spirits”: Preventing bisexual erasure in aboriginal schools. Journal of Bisexuality, 14, 18–35.Google Scholar
  66. Scott, R. L. (2007). Addressing social invalidation to promote well-being for multiracial bisexuals of African descent. In B. A. Firestein (Ed.), Becoming visible: Counseling bisexuals across the lifespan (pp. 207–228). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Smedley, A. (1999a). Race and the construction of human identity. American Anthropologist, 100, 690–702.Google Scholar
  68. Smedley, A. (1999b). Race in North America: Origin and evolution of a worldview (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  69. Smedley, A., & Smedley, B. D. (2005). Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives in the social construction of race. American Psychologist, 60, 16–26.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Stallings, L. H. (2010). Bi bell: Spirituality and the sexual intellectual. Journal of Bisexuality, 10, 137–153.Google Scholar
  71. Suarez-Orozco, M., & Páez, M. (Eds.). (2002). Latinos: Remaking America. Oakland: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  72. Taylor, R. J., Chatters, L. M., Jayakody, R., & Levin, J. S. (1996). Black and white differences in religious participation: A multisample comparison. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 35, 403–410.Google Scholar
  73. Taylor, R. J., Chatters, L. M., & Levin, J. (2003). Religion in the lives of African Americans: Social, psychological, and health perspectives. New York: Sage.Google Scholar
  74. Walsh, A. S. (2012). Latino pentecostal identity: Evangelical faith, self, and society. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Wilson, P. A. (2008). A dynamic-ecological model of identity formation and conflict among bisexually-behaving African–American men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 794–809.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Work, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations