Minority Stress and Safer Sex Practices among Sexual Minority Women in Toronto, Canada: Results from a Cross-Sectional Internet-Based Survey

Carmen H. Logie, Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Rachel K. MacKenzie, Tonia Poteat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Sexual stigma is a chronic stressor that enhances vulnerability to mental health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people. Sexual stigma has also been associated with reduced uptake of safer sex practices, such as condom use, among gay and bisexual men. Scant research has examined the relationship between sexual stigma and safer sex practices among sexual minority women (SMW), including lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. Methods: We explored associations between sexual stigma and safer sex practices among SMW. We also tested the interaction between sexual stigma, social support, and resilient coping in this relationship. A cross-sectional internet-based survey was administered to SMW in Toronto, Canada. Results: Among 388 participants with complete measurement data, simple linear regression indicated both perceived and enacted sexual stigma were positively associated with uptake of safer sex practices. In multivariable analyses, significant interactions were found between perceived sexual stigma and resilient coping, and between enacted sexual stigma and social support. At low levels of resilient coping, higher levels of perceived sexual stigma were associated with fewer safer sex practices, while at high levels of resilient coping the relationship was reversed. At low levels of social support, higher levels of enacted sexual stigma were associated with fewer safer sex practices, while at high levels of social support the relationship was reversed. Conclusions: These findings document complex relationships between sexual stigma dimensions, coping, social support, and safer sex practices. Understanding the role these variables play in uptake of safer sex practices can inform sexual health interventions tailored for SMW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
JournalLGBT Health
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • minority stress
  • prevention
  • sexual minority women
  • sexual stigma
  • STD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology

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