Psychosocial Health Disparities Among Black Bisexual Men in the U.S.

Effects of Sexuality Nondisclosure and Gay Community Support

Published in: Archives of Sexual Behavior [Epub April 2018]. doi:10.1007/s10508-018-1162-2

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 2018

by M. Reuel Friedman, Leigh Bukowski, Lisa A. Eaton, Derrick D. Matthews, Typhanye V. Dyer, Daniel Siconolfi, Ronald Stall

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Compared with Black gay men, Black bisexual men experience psychosocial health disparities, including depression, polydrug use, physical assault, and intimate partner violence (IPV). Black bisexual men are also less likely to disclose their sexuality, which may result in them receiving less sexual minority community support, exacerbating psychosocial health disparities. We assessed relationships between bisexual behavior, bisexual identity, sexuality nondisclosure, gay community support, and psychosocial morbidities among Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Between 2014 and 2017, survey data were collected from Black MSM [less than or equal to] 18 years old (n = 4430) at Black Pride events in six U.S. cities. We differentiated between bisexual-identified men reporting past-year sex with men and women (bisexual MSMW, 8.4%); gay-identified men reporting sex with men only (gay MSMO, 73.1%); gay MSMW (8.0%); and bisexual MSMO (8.4%). Multivariable regressions contrasted these groups by psychosocial morbidities, sexuality nondisclosure, and gay community support. Structural equation models assessed total, direct, and indirect effects. Compared with gay MSMO, bisexual MSMW and gay MSMW were significantly more likely to report polydrug use, depression symptoms, IPV, physical assault, sexuality nondisclosure, and lack of gay community support. Lack of gay community support had significant indirect effects on the relationships between bisexual behavior and psychosocial morbidity (p < .001) and between bisexual identity and psychosocial morbidity (p < .001). Sexuality nondisclosure had significant indirect effects on relationships between bisexual behavior (p < .001), bisexual identity (p < .001), and lack of gay community support. Psychosocial health disparities experienced by Black bisexual men are associated with both bisexual behavior and bisexual identity. Interventions decreasing biphobia will facilitate opportunities for protective sexuality disclosure and access to sexual minority community support.

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