The Role of Age and Homonegativity in Racial or Ethnic Partner Preferences Among Australian Gay and Bisexual Men
We investigated the racial or ethnic partner preferences among Australian gay and bisexual men (GBM) as part of a large study of sexual preferences among GBM, to identify whether racial bias was a factor in how GBM expressed their partner preferences. We surveyed 1853 Australian GBM about their partner preferences and preferred sex practices. We used logistic regression to identify whether factors such as age, gay social engagement, or men’s own ethnicity or race were associated with ethnic and racial partner preferences. Mean age was 34.8 years. Ethnic or racial background included: white or “Caucasian” (86.6%), Australian Aboriginal (2.7%), and Asian (6.6%). Mean attraction scores were highest for “Caucasian” men, and lowest for Aboriginal and Asian men. Under half (41.6%) were attracted to all racial or ethnic types; 7.7% were only attracted to “Caucasian” men. Being older and lower homonegativity scores were independently associated with finding all ethnic and racial types attractive. Being attracted only to “Caucasian” men was associated with younger age. Mental health was not associated with ethnic or racial partner preferences. Although men more commonly found most racial or ethnic types attractive, racial biases in partner selection were more evident among younger men, and among those who were less comfortable with their own sexuality. Addressing anti-gay stigma and broader exposure to gay community subcultures may be as important in countering racial bias.
KeywordsGay men Sexuality Sexual racism Partner preference Ethnicity Sexual orientation
This work was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). ARC Grant Number: DP150103739. The Kirby Institute and Centre for Social Research in Health receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
- Abraham, I., Callander, D., Cheng, J., Daroya, E., Dhoot, S., Holt, M., et al. (2017). The psychic life of racism in gay men’s communities. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017a). 2071.0-Census of population and housing: Reflecting Australia-stories from the census, 2016—Cultural diversity. Canberra: Author.Google Scholar
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017b). 2071.0-Census of population and housing: Reflecting Australia-stories from the census, 2016—Aboriginal and torres strait islander population. Canberra: Author.Google Scholar
- Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1991). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Caluya, G. (2006). The (gay) scene of racism: Face, shame and gay Asian males. Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association e-Journal, 2, 1–4.Google Scholar
- De Vaus, D. (2013). Surveys in social research. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Eastwick, P. W. (2013). Cultural influences on attraction. In J. A. Simpson & L. Campbell (Eds.), Handbook of close relationships (pp. 161–182). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. (2012). The practice of research in social work. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
- Giddens, A. (1986a). The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Giddens, A. (1986b). Action, subjectivity, and the constitution of meaning. Social Research, 53, 529–545.Google Scholar
- Grov, C., Rendina, H. J., Ventuneac, A., & Parsons, J. T. (2016). Sexual behavior varies between same-race and different-race partnerships: A daily diary study of highly sexually active Black, Latino, and White gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(6), 1453–1462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kong, T. S. K. (2007). Sexualizing Asian male bodies. In S. Seidman, N. Fischer, & C. Meeks (Eds.), Handbook of the new sexuality studies (pp. 90–95). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2014). Racial formation in the United States. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Plummer, M. D. (2007). Sexual racism in gay communities: Negotiating the ethnosexual marketplace. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from University of Washington. http://hdl.handle.net/1773/9181.
- Simon, W., & Gagnon, J. H. (1999). Sexual scripts. In R. Parker & P. Aggleton (Eds.), Culture, society and sexuality: A reader (pp. 29–38). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Stember, C. H. (1976). Sexual racism: The emotional barrier to an integrated society. New York: Harper.Google Scholar