Initial Development and Validation of the Brief Internalized Heterosexist Racism Scale for Gay and Bisexual Black Men: A Measure of Internalized Heterosexist Racism

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We introduce internalized heterosexist racism (IHR), or the internalization of damaging stereotypes, harmful beliefs, and negative attitudes about being a sexual minority person of color. We also present the initial development and validation of the Brief Internalized Heterosexist Racism Scale for gay and bisexual Black men (IHR-GBBM), a unidimensional, 10-item measure of IHR. Exploratory factor analyses on an internet-obtained sample of gay and bisexual Black men (N = 312; Mean age = 30.36 years) show that the IHR-GBBM had evidence of good internal consistency, and good convergent, discriminant, concurrent, and incremental validity. The IHR-GBBM was positively correlated with internalized racism, internalized heterosexism, and discrimination (racist, heterosexist). IHR was also negatively correlated with race stigma consciousness, weakly positively correlated with sexual identity stigma consciousness, but not correlated with either race identity, sexual identity, or social desirability. Hierarchical regressions showed that the IHR-GBBM explained an additional variance of 2.8% and 3.1% in anxiety symptoms and substance use coping, respectively, after accounting for (1) sociodemographics, (2) internalized racism and internalized heterosexism, and (3) an interaction of internalized racism and internalized heterosexism. Older participants and those who were “out” about their sexual identity reported lower IHR. Those who did not know/want to report their HIV status reported greater IHR. Results revealed no sexual identity, sexual position, relationship status, income, education, or employment status differences in IHR. We hope the development of the IHR-GBBM spurs future research on predictors and consequences of IHR. We discuss limitations and implications for the future study of internalized heterosexist racism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1325
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Brief Internalized Heterosexist Racism Scale
  • Gay and bisexual black men
  • Internalized heterosexism
  • Internalized heterosexist racism
  • Intersectionality
  • Sexual orientation

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