Social Media as Social Capital of LGB Individuals in Hong Kong: Its Relations with Group Membership, Stigma, and Mental Well-Being
- 1.5k Downloads
Social media are found to facilitate social information exchange among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who are subjected to social stigma. This study tested the protective role of LGB-tailored social media uses and gratifications in promoting LGB group membership, which we hypothesized to reduce LGB stigma and enhance mental health among LGB individuals in Hong Kong. Based on a sample of 233 Chinese LGB individuals in Hong Kong, structural equation modeling showed evidence for our hypotheses, χ (df=62) 2 = 88.20, GFI = 0.95, CFI = 0.98, NNFI = 0.98, SRMR = 0.07, RMSEA = 0.04. Community surveillance, identity expression, and emotional support on social media may promote mental health by instilling a sense of group membership and reducing stigma. Social media may build camaraderie and bolster resilience among LGB individuals that may otherwise be difficult in conservative regions.
KeywordsSocial media Lesbian/gay/bisexual individuals Hong Kong Stigma Structural equation modeling
The study was supported by the Chinese University of Hong Kong I-CARE Program (Research Project No. R14-11). We wish to thank Chun Yam Chau and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong for their support in this study; Harold T. Y. Chui and Michael S. Boroughs for their feedback on the manuscript.
- Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association. (2009). The situation of gay students in secondary schools. http://www.newtouch.net/files/ref_report/ref_report_08a.doc.
- Chan, C. M.-W. (2005, July). Sexual orientation discrimination in Hongkong: A report. Paper presented at sexualities, genders and rights in Asia: 1st international conference of Asian queer studies. Bangkok: AsiaPacifiQueer Network, Mahidol University; Australian National University.Google Scholar
- Chan, H., & Lee, R. P. (1995). Hong Kong families: At the crossroads of modernism and traditionalism. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 26, 83–99.Google Scholar
- Community Business. (2012). Hong Kong LGBT climate study 2011–12. http://www.communitybusiness.org/images/cb/publications/2012/HK_LGBT_Climate_Study_2011_12_EN.pdf.
- Harper, G. W., Bruce, D., Serrano, P., & Jamil, O. B. (2009). The role of the Internet in the sexual identity development of gay and bisexual male adolescents. In P. L. Hammack & B. J. Cohler (Eds.), The story of sexual identity: Narrative perspectives on the gay and lesbian life course (pp. 297–326). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hong Kong Government Census and Statistics Department. (2008). Summary of survey results: Household survey on information technology usage and penetration. http://www.info.gov.hk/digital21/eng/statistics/download/itsurveysummary2008eng.pdf.
- Hong Kong Government Census and Statistics Department. (2012). Summary results of the 2011 population census. http://www.census2011.gov.hk/pdf/summary-results.pdf.
- Mak, W. W. S., & Chen, S. X. (2010). Illness behaviors among the Chinese. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Chinese psychology (2nd ed., pp. 421–439). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- McCabe, S. E., Bostwick, W. B., Hughes, T. L., West, B. T., & Boyd, C. J. (2010). The relationship between discrimination and substance use disorders among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 1946–1952.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pew Research Center. (2013). The global divide on homosexuality. http://www.pewglobal.org/files/2013/06/Pew-Global-Attitudes-Homosexuality-Report-FINAL-JUNE-4-2013.pdf.
- Resnick, P. (2001). Beyond bowling together: Sociotechnical capital. In J. Carroll (Ed.), HCI in the new millennium (pp. 247–272). Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Stotzer, R. L., & Lau, H. (2013). Sexual orientation-based violence in Hong Kong. Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, 14, 84–107.Google Scholar
- Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, 33, 47.Google Scholar
- Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting. (June 20, 2011). Homophobic bullying in Hong Kong schools—Online survey results. http://tcjm.org/2011/06/20.
- Women Coalition of HKSAR. (2010). Discrimination suffered by Hong Kong women on the ground of sexual orientation. http://survey2010.wchk.org.