Levels and Correlates of Internalized Homophobia Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Pretoria, South Africa
- First Online:
- 529 Downloads
This study examines levels and correlates of internalized homophobia among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Pretoria, South Africa. Using respondent-driven sampling, we recruited 324 MSM from February to August 2009. Results were adjusted using RDSAT analysis to yield population-based estimates. High levels of internalized homophobia exist among South African MSM: 10–15% reported “often/very often” and over 20% reported “sometimes” having feelings of internalized homophobia. A greater level of internalized homophobia was significantly associated with a lower level of education [Adjusted Odds Ratio = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.1–4.9], a higher level of HIV misinformation [AOR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.3–5.3], bisexual identity (vs. homosexual) [AOR = 5.5; 95% CI: 2.5–12.0], and HIV-related conspiracy beliefs [AOR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.02–5.8]. These findings contribute valuable information to our understanding of internalized homophobia in South Africa, highlighting the need to empower the gay community, promote self-acceptance of homosexual identity, and address conspiracy beliefs among MSM to reduce internalized homophobia and increase access to HIV prevention interventions.
KeywordsInternalized homophobia Men who have sex with men Conspiracy beliefs HIV risks South Africa
- 1.UNAIDS. AIDS epidemic update 2010. Geneva: UNAIDS; 2010. ISBN 978-92-9173-871-7.Google Scholar
- 9.Brooks-Gunn J, Garber J. What’s sex got to do with it? The development of sexual identities during adolescence. London: Oxford University Press; 1999.Google Scholar
- 21.Tun W, Kellerman S, Maime S, Fipaza Z, Sheehy M, Vu L, et al. Conspiracy beliefs about HIV, attitudes towards condoms and treatment and HIV-related preventive behaviors among men who have sex with men in Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa. [Unpublished manuscript]. 2010.Google Scholar
- 24.Meyer I, Dean L. Internalized homophobia, intimacy and sexual behavior among gay and bisexual men. Thousand Oaks: Sage; 1998.Google Scholar
- 29.South Africa Educational Levels. 2005 [cited 2010 Oct 29]. http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm.
- 31.Johnson C. Off the map: how HIV/AIDS programming is failing same-sex practicing people in Africa. New York: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; 2007.Google Scholar
- 32.Shidlo A. Internalized homophobia: conceptual and empirical issues in measurement. In: Greene B, Herek GM, editors. Lesbian and gay psychology: theory, research and clinical applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1994. p. 176–205.Google Scholar
- 33.Kaufman G. The psychology of shame: the theory and treatment of shame-based syndromes. 2nd ed. New York: Springer; 1996.Google Scholar
- 35.Kendall C, Kerr LR, Gondim RC, Werneck GL, Macena RH, Pontes MK, et al. An empirical comparison of respondent-driven sampling, time location sampling, and snowball sampling for behavioral surveillance in men who have sex with men, Fortaleza, Brazil. AIDS Behav. 2008;12(Suppl 4):S97–104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar