Harassment, State Law and Sexual Health of Young Men Who Have Sex with Men
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth experience disproportionate harassment in school compared to their non-LGBTQ peers. In-school peer-based harassment is associated with immediate, negative health outcomes among LGBTQ youth, including behaviors associated with increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk. This study examined the long-term relationship between peer-based, in-school harassment among a high-risk sample of young adult (age 18-25; n=1742) men who have sex with men (YMSM) from the Together 5000 cohort (Nash et al, 2019). The findings indicate a relationship between reported peer-based harassment during high school and increased HIV risk behaviors in young adulthood. While most participants reported having experienced significant harassment, White participants reported significantly more harassment than Black, Latinx, and multiracial/other race participants. Harassment was not found to be associated with current HIV status. State law (i.e., protection or anti-protection against LGBTQ harassment) was predicted to be a proxy for local LGBTQ attitudes and potentially an indicator of exposure to minority-based stress. Contrary to this prediction, participants from states with the least protections and in some cases antagonistic polices for LGBTQ students reported lower levels of peer-based harassment than participants from states with moderate or more protections. Notably, after controlling for race and age, state level protection was not found to be a significant predictor of subsequent HIV risk behaviors. After controlling for age and race and including state level protections and interaction terms, only reported peer-based harassment during high school remained a significant predictor of subsequent HIV risk behaviors.
Public health|Education|Clinical psychology|Gender studies|LGBTQ studies
MacCrate, Caitlin Jill, "Harassment, State Law and Sexual Health of Young Men Who Have Sex with Men" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28155089.