Black masculinity matters in attitudes toward Gay males

by Anthony J. Lemelle, Jr., PhD and Juan Battle, PhD

Recent work on attitudes toward homosexuals promotes the view that males typically have more negative attitudes than females; and African Americans have more negative attitudes than their white counterparts. However, among African Americans, women are thought to have the greatest negative attitudes because they perceive themselves as competing for a limited pool of black male partners. This study uses the National Black Politics Study to examine African American gender differences in attitudes toward homosexual men. Multivariate findings show that of the variables analyzed: (1) Among African American females, age, income, education,and urban residence are statistically significant; and (2) among African American males, frequency of religious attendance was the only statistically significant variable. It is, therefore, argued that black masculinity explains the gendered differences and that negative attitudes within the African American community toward gay men contribute to debilitatingboth the physical and mental health of the entire black community.

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