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The experiences of homophobia may exert their effects on sexual risk taking indirectly by exacerbating mental health burden (Halkitis, 2010b; Johnson, Carrico, Chesney, & Morin, 2008). Experiences with oppression and homophobia, which tend to pervade family, school and community settings, are especially relevant for gay and bisexual young men, who are in the process of establishing their personal identities. Internalized heterosexism among HIV-positive gay-identified men: Implications for HIV prevention and care. Exposure to and experiences of homophobia have been implicated in substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors, negative body image, suicide attempts, increased stress and limited social support among gay and bisexual men (Halkitis, Fischgrund, & Parsons, 2005; Mayer, Bradford, Makadon, Stall, & Goldhammer, 2008; Wolitski, Stall, Valdiserri, 2008). Moreover, experiences with homophobia have been shown to interfere with the ability of gay and bisexual men to establish and maintain longterm same-sex relationships, which protect against HIV acquisition (Diaz, Ayala, Bein, Henne, & Marin, 2001).
I went to high school one year here just to get the high school diploma and went to Hofstra University. In fact, when it comes to traditional gender expression, boys tend to be watched very closely because of the high value assigned to hegemonic masculinity, which is the most honored way of being a man in our culture (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005; Pascoe, 2007).
Oppressive social structures and inequalities affecting gay and bisexual men have been implicated in perpetuating not only the HIV epidemic but also rates of anal cancer, Hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV) and lymphogranulma vernreum (LGV) infections, syphilis, gonorrhea and Hepatitis C (Wolitski & Fenton, 2011).
These structural conditions, which take the form of discrimination and homophobia (Wolistki & Fenton, 2011; Wolitski, Stall, & Validiserri, 2008), are further compounded by racism and economic disparities for gay and bisexual men of color.
These researchers compared lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young adults who were rejected with those who were supported by their families.
Rejected LGB youth were 8.4 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to have risky sex.