Political Environment and Perceptions of Social Inclusion After Nationwide Marriage Equality Among Partnered Men Who Have Sex with Men in the USA

Nicholas Metheny, Rob Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine how nationwide marriage equality and minority stressors are associated with perceptions of social inclusion using a national sample of partnered men who have sex with men (MSM) (n = 498). A four-item scale measuring changes in perceived social inclusion due to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage was created. Respondents were categorized into four distinct political environments using results from the 2016 US Presidential election. Multilevel modeling was used to examine associations between political environment, minority stressors, and perceived social inclusion. Changes in perceived social inclusion due to marriage equality did not significantly differ between political environments. Higher levels of internalized, anticipated, and enacted stigma were all associated with fewer gains in perceived social inclusion. An interaction between political environment and external stigma was significant in the most politically conservative areas. The legalization of marriage equality has improved perceived social inclusion overall, but less so among men who experience more discrimination and live in conservative environments. Multilevel interventions to change social norms are needed to help decrease minority stressors and improve perceived social inclusion in politically conservative areas with elevated levels of discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Marriage equality
  • Minority stress
  • Political environment
  • Social inclusion
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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