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Taylor Romanyk-O'Brien, Psychology
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Kimberly Kamper-DeMarco, Psychology

Understanding risk factors associated with risky sexual behavior among sexual minority individuals is crucial to promote safe behavior (Walker et al., 2015, Rosario et al., 2001). Research has demonstrated that individuals from this population may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when they are less comfortable with their sexual identity. Little research focuses on race and safe sex practices among sexual minorities. One study found that Black individuals, as well as those who have Black partners, engage in safer sex as opposed to those identifying as White or have White sexual partners (Clerkin, Newcomb, & Mustanski, 2011). The goal of the current study was to better understand these correlates of safe sex behavior. A total of 136 participants who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual were recruited at local colleges and through social media. Participants completed several questionnaires online, including the Safer Sex Behavior Questionnaire (SSBQ, DiIorio et al., 1992), Internalized Homophobia Scale (IHS, LaPollo et al., 2014), and Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC, Proescholdbell et al., 2006). Regression analyses examinee how community and race were associated with safe sex behavior. Gender, age, sexual identity, and the age at which individuals came out to others were included as covariates. A sense of community was positively associated with safe sexual behavior. In addition, identifying as Black/African American or Multiracial, compared to White/Caucasian were both positively associated with safer sex. Importantly, this study demonstrates the importance of community and race in safe sex behavior among sexual minority individuals.

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The Role of Community and Race in Understanding Safe Sex Behavior among Sexual Minority Individuals
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