265457 Racialized Sexual Politics? The Relationship Between Sexual Self-Labels, Race-Based Attraction, and Preference for Social Hierarchy Among A Sample Of Gay Asian Men

Monday, October 29, 2012

Judy Y. Tan, PhD , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: There is increasing recognition of the prominent use of sexual self-labels within the gay male community. However, little is known about the processes that orient such labeling, and the role that sexual attraction plays. The present study examined how sexual self-labeling relates to preference for social hierarchy and race-based sexual attraction in Asian/Pacific Islander (API) men who have sex with men (MSM).

Method: A total of 138 API MSM(Mage=27.26, SD=6.05) were recruited to participate in a web-based study via online social networking sites, word-of-mouth, and at community events attended by API MSM. Measures assessed participants' preference for social hierarchy, or social dominance orientation (SDO; Pratto et al., 2004); race-based attraction; and sexual self-labels indicative of their anal sex role.

Results: SDO varied significantly by sexual self-label: Self-identified tops preferred social hierarchy more so than self-identified bottoms and versatiles. SDO also varied significantly by race-based attraction: API men attracted to non-API men preferred social hierarchy more so than API men attracted to other API men and those without race-based preferences in men. Finally, there was a significant two-way interaction between sexual self-label and race-based sexual attraction: SDO was highest among tops most attracted to men of other races, and lowest among bottoms with no race-based preferences in men.

Conclusions: Race-based attraction and one's preference for social hierarchy are important factors in how API MSM self-label. Racial/ethnic minority MSM's use of sexual labels and their respective anal sex roles may depend on existing race-based sexual dynamics and personality orientation.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how sexuality among gay men of color may vary as a function of race-based attraction and individual difference variable.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and implemented the study, collected and analyzed the data and prepared the manuscript for publication.
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.