Minority stress and sexual problems among African-American gay and bisexual men

Brian D. Zamboni, Isiaah Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Minority stress, such as racism and gay bashing, may be associated with sexual problems, but this notion has not been examined in the literature. African-American gay/bisexual men face a unique challenge in managing a double minority status, putting them at high risk for stress and sexual problems. This investigation examined ten predictors of sexual problems among 174 African-American gay/bisexual men. Covarying for age, a forward multiple regression analysis showed that the measures of self-esteem, male gender role stress, HIV prevention self-efficacy, and lifetime experiences with racial discrimination significantly added to the prediction of sexual problems. Gay bashing, psychiatric symptoms, low life satisfaction, and low social support were significantly correlated with sexual problems, but did not add to the prediction of sexual problems in the regression analysis. Mediation analyses showed that stress predicted psychiatric symptoms, which then predicted sexual problems. Sexual problems were not significantly related to HIV status, racial/ethnic identity, or gay identity. The findings from this study showed a relationship between experiences with racial and sexual discrimination and sexual problems while also providing support for mediation to illustrate how stress might cause sexual problems. Addressing minority stress in therapy may help minimize and treat sexual difficulties among minority gay/bisexual men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data from this study were taken from a larger study investigating the social and sexual behaviors of African-American gay/bisexual men. The study was approved by a university IRB, and an informed consent procedure was followed. Participants were recruited in Chicago, Illinois and Richmond, Virginia through print advertisements in weekly newspapers, outreach by recruiters in community settings (e.g., cafes or coffeeshops, street fairs, parks, bars), and snowball sampling techniques (i.e., referrals from men who participated in the study). Prior studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have successfully used these methods (e.g., Stokes, Damon, & McKirnan, 1997; Stokes, Vanable, & McKirnan, 1996).


  • African-American
  • Black
  • Discrimination
  • Gay
  • Minority
  • Sexual dysfunction


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