New Study Shows Connection Between LGB People Of Color And Internalized Homophobia

Published: October 16, 2012

In a new study by David M. Barnes, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University and Ilan H. Meyer, PhD, Senior Scholar for Public Policy at the Williams Institute, data reportedly shows Latino and black lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) men and women are more religious than White LGBs. But the researchers also say that this finding has a correlation between higher incidences of internalized homophobia within gay communities of color.

An explanation after the jump.

According to the study results released today, greater religiosity was true by every measure, including likelihood to attend religious services, engage in prayer and identify a religious affiliation. But, according to the Williams Institute, both racial and ethnic minority members of the gay community who identify as religious were more likely than their Caucasian brothers and sisters to attend services in non-affirming settings.

Researchers say this difference explained higher levels of internalized homophobia, although only Latinos had statistically significantly higher levels of internalized homophobia than white LGB religious members.

“A majority of religious LGB people attend services in settings that do not affirm their sexuality and sexual identity,” Barnes said. “This is further evidence that clinicians working with LGBs need to understand their patients’ religious backgrounds and current religious attendance.”

The study reportedly also confirms what has long been widely believed that gay people, in general, are less religious than heterosexuals, However, LGBs in this study reported higher levels of spirituality than participants in general population samples.

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