Somali American female refugees discuss their attitudes toward homosexuality and the gay and lesbian community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somalis in the USA–most arriving as refugees from the civil war in Somalia. As Somali Americans adjust to life in the USA, they are likely to undergo shifts in their belief systems–including changes in their attitudes toward gays and lesbians. We examined the attitudes of 29 Somali American women in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area toward homosexuality via face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were translated, transcribed and analysed using an approach informed by grounded theory. Three major themes were identified: (1) Islamic prohibitions against homosexuality; (2) homosexuals exiled to a hidden community; and (3) community members exploring tolerance. Participants’ attitudes toward homosexuality were heavily influenced by religious doctrines and cultural contexts. This is the first known study in the USA of Somali American attitudes toward gays and lesbians. As people mass migrate from nations with negative attitudes toward homosexuality to countries with more progressive attitudes toward varied sexual orientations, refugee attitudes about homosexuality will undergo change. Through research and education, we can better understand how to increase tolerance toward and opportunities for visibility among gay and lesbian refugees throughout the diaspora.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-605
Number of pages15
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2018

Fingerprint

Refugees
Homosexuality
homosexuality
refugee
community
tolerance
Somalia
sexual orientation
Sexual Minorities
diaspora
grounded theory
civil war
Sexual Behavior
doctrine
agglomeration area
Interviews
Education
interview
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Homophobia
  • LGBT
  • Somali refugees
  • USA
  • beliefs
  • religion

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

@article{b92e022068944dcf914b039fb5002910,
title = "Somali American female refugees discuss their attitudes toward homosexuality and the gay and lesbian community",
abstract = "Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somalis in the USA–most arriving as refugees from the civil war in Somalia. As Somali Americans adjust to life in the USA, they are likely to undergo shifts in their belief systems–including changes in their attitudes toward gays and lesbians. We examined the attitudes of 29 Somali American women in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area toward homosexuality via face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were translated, transcribed and analysed using an approach informed by grounded theory. Three major themes were identified: (1) Islamic prohibitions against homosexuality; (2) homosexuals exiled to a hidden community; and (3) community members exploring tolerance. Participants’ attitudes toward homosexuality were heavily influenced by religious doctrines and cultural contexts. This is the first known study in the USA of Somali American attitudes toward gays and lesbians. As people mass migrate from nations with negative attitudes toward homosexuality to countries with more progressive attitudes toward varied sexual orientations, refugee attitudes about homosexuality will undergo change. Through research and education, we can better understand how to increase tolerance toward and opportunities for visibility among gay and lesbian refugees throughout the diaspora.",
keywords = "Homophobia, LGBT, Somali refugees, USA, beliefs, religion",
author = "Hunt, {Shanda L.} and Connor, {Jennifer J.} and Amanda Ciesinski and Cawo Abdi and Robinson, {Beatrice Bean E.}",
year = "2018",
month = "5",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1080/13691058.2017.1367036",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "591--605",
journal = "Culture, Health and Sexuality",
issn = "1369-1058",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Somali American female refugees discuss their attitudes toward homosexuality and the gay and lesbian community

AU - Hunt, Shanda L.

AU - Connor, Jennifer J.

AU - Ciesinski, Amanda

AU - Abdi, Cawo

AU - Robinson, Beatrice Bean E.

PY - 2018/5/4

Y1 - 2018/5/4

N2 - Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somalis in the USA–most arriving as refugees from the civil war in Somalia. As Somali Americans adjust to life in the USA, they are likely to undergo shifts in their belief systems–including changes in their attitudes toward gays and lesbians. We examined the attitudes of 29 Somali American women in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area toward homosexuality via face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were translated, transcribed and analysed using an approach informed by grounded theory. Three major themes were identified: (1) Islamic prohibitions against homosexuality; (2) homosexuals exiled to a hidden community; and (3) community members exploring tolerance. Participants’ attitudes toward homosexuality were heavily influenced by religious doctrines and cultural contexts. This is the first known study in the USA of Somali American attitudes toward gays and lesbians. As people mass migrate from nations with negative attitudes toward homosexuality to countries with more progressive attitudes toward varied sexual orientations, refugee attitudes about homosexuality will undergo change. Through research and education, we can better understand how to increase tolerance toward and opportunities for visibility among gay and lesbian refugees throughout the diaspora.

AB - Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somalis in the USA–most arriving as refugees from the civil war in Somalia. As Somali Americans adjust to life in the USA, they are likely to undergo shifts in their belief systems–including changes in their attitudes toward gays and lesbians. We examined the attitudes of 29 Somali American women in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area toward homosexuality via face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were translated, transcribed and analysed using an approach informed by grounded theory. Three major themes were identified: (1) Islamic prohibitions against homosexuality; (2) homosexuals exiled to a hidden community; and (3) community members exploring tolerance. Participants’ attitudes toward homosexuality were heavily influenced by religious doctrines and cultural contexts. This is the first known study in the USA of Somali American attitudes toward gays and lesbians. As people mass migrate from nations with negative attitudes toward homosexuality to countries with more progressive attitudes toward varied sexual orientations, refugee attitudes about homosexuality will undergo change. Through research and education, we can better understand how to increase tolerance toward and opportunities for visibility among gay and lesbian refugees throughout the diaspora.

KW - Homophobia

KW - LGBT

KW - Somali refugees

KW - USA

KW - beliefs

KW - religion

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028760092&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85028760092&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13691058.2017.1367036

DO - 10.1080/13691058.2017.1367036

M3 - Article

C2 - 28857678

AN - SCOPUS:85028760092

VL - 20

SP - 591

EP - 605

JO - Culture, Health and Sexuality

JF - Culture, Health and Sexuality

SN - 1369-1058

IS - 5

ER -