Minority Stress and the Risk of Unwanted Sexual Experiences in LGBQ Undergraduates

Minority Stress and the Risk of Unwanted Sexual Experiences in LGBQ Undergraduates Sexual assault is prevalent among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) college students, but its relationship to anti-LGBQ stigma has not been established. The goal of the present study was to determine whether minority stress, specifically internalized homophobia, predicted unwanted sexual experiences among LGBQ undergraduates (N = 763), whether routine behaviors (number of consensual sexual partners and alcohol use) mediated this relationship, and whether sense of LGBTQ community was a protective factor. Significant proportions of sexual minority men (10 %), women (18 %), and non-binary or transitioning students (19 %) reported an unwanted sexual experience since entering college. Internalized homophobia was associated with greater risk of unwanted sexual experiences. It also had a negative indirect effect on unwanted sexual experience risk through a negative association with number of sexual partners. Alcohol use did not mediate the relationship between internalized homophobia and unwanted sexual experiences. Sense of LGBTQ community was associated with lower risk, mediated by lower levels of internalized homophobia. The relationships between internalized homophobia and unwanted sexual experience risk were similar for women and men. These findings demonstrate that minority stress increases LGBQ students’ risk of sexual victimization and that in-group social relationships can mitigate this risk. We argue that minority stress is an important risk factor for sexual violence. Violence prevention interventions should attempt to reduce internalized homophobia, and colleges and high schools should establish LGBQ-affirming social climates and provide resources for LGBQ students, including targeted violence prevention efforts and programs that foster a sense of supportive community. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Minority Stress and the Risk of Unwanted Sexual Experiences in LGBQ Undergraduates

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0710-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sexual assault is prevalent among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) college students, but its relationship to anti-LGBQ stigma has not been established. The goal of the present study was to determine whether minority stress, specifically internalized homophobia, predicted unwanted sexual experiences among LGBQ undergraduates (N = 763), whether routine behaviors (number of consensual sexual partners and alcohol use) mediated this relationship, and whether sense of LGBTQ community was a protective factor. Significant proportions of sexual minority men (10 %), women (18 %), and non-binary or transitioning students (19 %) reported an unwanted sexual experience since entering college. Internalized homophobia was associated with greater risk of unwanted sexual experiences. It also had a negative indirect effect on unwanted sexual experience risk through a negative association with number of sexual partners. Alcohol use did not mediate the relationship between internalized homophobia and unwanted sexual experiences. Sense of LGBTQ community was associated with lower risk, mediated by lower levels of internalized homophobia. The relationships between internalized homophobia and unwanted sexual experience risk were similar for women and men. These findings demonstrate that minority stress increases LGBQ students’ risk of sexual victimization and that in-group social relationships can mitigate this risk. We argue that minority stress is an important risk factor for sexual violence. Violence prevention interventions should attempt to reduce internalized homophobia, and colleges and high schools should establish LGBQ-affirming social climates and provide resources for LGBQ students, including targeted violence prevention efforts and programs that foster a sense of supportive community.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 19, 2016

References

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