202795 Impact of hypermasculinity ideals on disclosure of same-sex behavior among Black and White men who have sex with men and women (MSMW)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:50 AM

Archana Bodas LaPollo, MPH , Research and Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer L. Lauby, PhD , Research and Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Mary Milnamow, BA , Research and Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Background/Objectives: Reluctance to disclose same-sex behavior may increase HIV risk among MSMW. Hypermasculine ideals, particularly among Black MSMW concerned with expectations of their role in the family and Black community, may prevent some MSMW from disclosing same-sex behavior. We examined the relationship between hypermasculinity and same-sex behavior disclosure, comparing Black and White MSMW.

Methods: 346 adult MSMW (237 Black; 109 White) were enrolled through respondent driven sampling. Participants completed a survey using ACASI. Hypermasculinity was measured with a 12-item scale; higher scores equaled greater hypermasculinity (scale from 1-4; alpha=.86). Chi-square tests and analysis of variance were conducted.

Results: Black and White men differed in age and income. No significant racial differences were found in sexual orientation. A majority of men felt it was important (45% very; 33% a little/somewhat) to keep their same-sex behavior secret (not significantly different by race).

Black MSMW were significantly more hypermasculine than White MSMW(2.24 vs. 2.04; p=.001). Men who felt it was very important to keep their same-sex behavior a secret scored higher (2.26) compared to men who felt it was a little or somewhat important (2.15) or not important (2.06) (p=.026). Hypermasculinity was not significantly different by sexual orientation. Controlling for age, income and race, disclosure of same-sex behavior was significantly related to hypermasculinity (p=.05).

Conclusion: Hypermasculine ideals may contribute to Black MSMW's unwillingness to disclose their same-sex behavior, having a potentially negative impact on HIV risk and prevention. It is important to explore how hypermasculinity may affect this population's risk for HIV.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact that reluctance to disclose same-sex behavior has on access to HIV prevention messages and services. Analyze the relationship between hypermasculinity ideals and disclosure of same sex behavior among Black and White MSMW. Identify ways to reach men who are reluctant to disclose same-sex behavior while maintaining respect for privacy related to sexual behavior.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Senior Research Associate at Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA. I have worked in the Research and Evaluation division of PHMC for the past 9 years and worked as the Senior Research Associate/Data Manager on the study for which the data to be presented was collected.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.