A European study shows men who have sex with men (MSM) living in a hostile environment have internalized homonegativity and are less likely to get tested for HIV. A similar study conducted in America shows a weak link between feeling towards homosexuality and unprotected sex but shows that men in the anti-gay states were more likely to report depression.
Researchers included discriminatory laws and inequality as homonegativity in geographic locations – including Richmond, VA which was used as an “anti-gay” city for the sample group. The American study led by the University of Minnesota used a sample of 1725 men from different cities.
The researchers therefore selected eight cities, each in a different state, which were judged to have anti-gay laws (for example, gay marriage not possible and no law against anti-gay discrimination). These were then matched on the basis of size, ethnic composition and region with eight cities in states with pro-gay laws…
Both studies used the same method of assessing internalised homonegativity, a scale previously developed by Simon Rosser and colleagues. It includes questions on whether the respondent is comfortable in a range of situations: in gay bars, in social situations with gay men, being seen in public with obviously gay men and discussing homosexuality in public. Men were also asked whether they thought homosexuality was morally acceptable and if they would want to change their sexual orientation.