Advertisement

The Role of Age and Homonegativity in Racial or Ethnic Partner Preferences Among Australian Gay and Bisexual Men

  • Garrett Prestage
  • Limin Mao
  • Steven Philpot
  • Fengyi Jin
  • Denton Callander
  • Michael Doyle
  • Iryna Zablotska
  • Johann Kolstee
  • Phillip Keen
  • Benjamin Bavinton
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Gay men Sexuality Sexual racism Partner preference Ethnicity Sexual orientation 

Notes

Funding

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.

References

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Bavinton, B. R., Duncan, D., Grierson, J., Zablotska, I. B., Down, I. A., Grulich, A. E., et al. (2016). The meaning of ‘regular partner’in HIV research among gay and bisexual men: implications of an Australian cross-sectional survey. AIDS and Behavior, 20, 1777–1784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1991). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  6. Bérubé, A. (2001). How gay stays white and what kind of white it stays. In B. B. Rasmussen, E. Klinenberg, I. J. Nexica, & M. Wray (Eds.), The making and unmaking of whiteness (pp. 234–265). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Callander, D., Holt, M., & Newman, C. E. (2012). Just a preference: Racialised language in the sex-seeking profiles of gay and bisexual men. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 14, 1049–1063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Callander, D., Newman, C. E., & Holt, M. (2015). Is sexual racism really racism? Distinguishing attitudes toward sexual racism and generic racism among gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1991–2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 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
  10. Caluya, G. (2008). ‘The rice steamer’: Race, desire and affect in Sydney’s gay scene. Australian Geographer, 39, 283–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis, R. E., Couper, M. P., Janz, N. K., Caldwell, C. H., & Resnicow, K. (2009). Interviewer effects in public health surveys. Health Education Research, 25, 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Vaus, D. (2013). Surveys in social research. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. 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
  14. Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. (2012). The practice of research in social work. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Giddens, A. (1986a). The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  16. Giddens, A. (1986b). Action, subjectivity, and the constitution of meaning. Social Research, 53, 529–545.Google Scholar
  17. Gonsiorek, J. C. (1988). Mental health issues of gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 9, 114–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 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
  19. Han, C.-S. (2007). They don’t want to cruise your type: Gay men of colour and the racial politics of exclusion. Social Identities, 13, 51–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Han, C.-S. (2008). No fats, femmes, or Asians: The utility of critical race theory in examining the role of gay stock stories in the marginalization of gay Asian men. Contemporary Justice Review, 11, 11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Herdt, G. (1999). Clinical ethnography and sexual culture. Annual Review of Sex Research, 10, 100–119.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kalichman, S. C., & Rompa, D. (1995). Sexual sensation seeking and sexual compulsivity scales: Validity, and predicting HIV risk behavior. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 586–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keeling, M. J., & Eames, K. T. (2005). Networks and epidemic models. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 2(4), 295–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 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
  25. Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. (2001). The PHQ-9. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16, 606–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lick, D. J., & Johnson, K. L. (2015). Intersecting race and gender cues are associated with perceptions of gay men’s preferred sexual roles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1471–1481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mayfield, W. (2001). The development of an Internalized Homonegativity Inventory for gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 41, 53–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Newcomb, M. E., & Mustanski, B. (2013). Racial differences in same-race partnering and the effects of sexual partnership characteristics on HIV risk in MSM: A prospective sexual diary study. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 62(3), 329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2014). Racial formation in the United States. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Phillips, G., Birkett, M., Hammond, S., & Mustanski, B. (2016). Partner preference among men who have sex with men: Potential contribution to spread of HIV within minority populations. LGBT Health, 3(3), 225–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 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.
  33. Prestage, G., Brown, G., De Wit, J., Bavinton, B., Fairley, C., Maycock, B., et al. (2015). Understanding gay community subcultures: Implications for HIV prevention. AIDS and Behavior, 19, 2224–2233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Prestage, G., Jin, F., Bavinton, B., Scott, S. A., & Hurley, M. (2013). Do differences in age between sexual partners affect sexual risk behaviour among Australian gay and bisexual men? Sexually Transmitted Infections, 89, 653–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Prestage, G., Kippax, S., Jin, F., Frankland, A., Imrie, J., Grulich, A. E., & Zablotska, I. (2009). Does age affect sexual behaviour among gay men in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia? AIDS Care, 21, 1098–1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Priest, N., Paradies, Y., Trenerry, B., Truong, M., Karlsen, S., & Kelly, Y. (2013). A systematic review of studies examining the relationship between reported racism and health and wellbeing for children and young people. Social Science and Medicine, 95, 115–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Riggs, D. (2013). Anti-Asian sentiment amongst a sample of White Australian men on Gaydar. Sex Roles, 68, 769–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Robinson, B. A. (2015). “Personal preference” as the new racism: Gay desire and racial cleansing in cyberspace. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 1, 317–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., Hunter, J., & Braun, L. (2006). Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 46–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosenberg, M., Schooler, C., Schoenbach, C., & Rosenberg, F. (1995). Global self-esteem and specific self-esteem: Different concepts, different outcomes. American Sociological Review, 60, 141–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Russell, S. T., & Fish, J. N. (2016). Mental health in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 465–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 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
  43. Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B., & Löwe, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: The GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 1092–1097.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stember, C. H. (1976). Sexual racism: The emotional barrier to an integrated society. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  45. Stewart, B. D., von Hippel, W., & Radvansky, G. A. (2009). Age, race, and implicit prejudice: Using process dissociation to separate the underlying components. Psychological Science, 20, 164–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zablotska, I. B., Holt, M., & Prestage, G. (2012). Changes in gay men’s participation in gay community life: Implications for HIV surveillance and research. AIDS and Behavior, 16, 669–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garrett Prestage
    • 1
  • Limin Mao
    • 2
  • Steven Philpot
    • 1
  • Fengyi Jin
    • 1
  • Denton Callander
    • 1
  • Michael Doyle
    • 3
  • Iryna Zablotska
    • 3
  • Johann Kolstee
    • 1
    • 4
  • Phillip Keen
    • 1
  • Benjamin Bavinton
    • 1
  1. 1.Kirby InstituteUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Social Research in HealthUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  3. 3.Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneyCamperdownAustralia
  4. 4.ACONSurry HillsAustralia

Personalised recommendations