Nearly half of sexual minority (SM) men experience adult sexual assault (ASA) victimization (e.g., sexual
coercion, rape) in their lifetime, and as many as 30% of SM men report lifetime ASA perpetration. Rates of
ASA victimization and perpetration among SM men are alarmingly high even when measured over short
periods of time. However, little research has examined risk and protective factors for ASA victimization or
perpetration among SM men. Research that does exist is mostly cross-sectional or focuses on sexual IPV
rather than ASA across a broad range of perpetrator–victim relationships (e.g., acquaintance, established
partner). The lack of research on ASA among SM men precludes researchers and practitioners from
developing risk reduction and prevention programming specifically for this population. There is also a dearth of
research on factors that predict outcomes associated with ASA victimization among SM men, information that
is sorely needed to create affirming interventions for SM men who experience ASA victimization. The purpose
of the proposed study is to utilize a longitudinal, prospective design to test three innovative models that include
established (e.g., child sexual abuse, heavy episodic drinking), as well as population-specific (e.g., internalized
homonegativity, LGBTQ+ sense of community), risk and protective factors to predict experiences of ASA
perpetration among SM men (Aim 1); experiences of ASA victimization among SM men (Aim 2); and adverse
Exploratory analyses will examine
how latent classes that capture multiple intersecting marginalized social identities (i.e., sexual orientation, race,
ethnicity, gender identity) and experiences of minority-related stress, act as predictors and moderators in the
hypothesized models (Aim 4).
outcomes among SM men who experience an ASA victimization (Aim 3).
We focus on young adult SM men (ages 18 to 30) given that rates of ASA are
highest among this population and primary prevention of ASA is of paramount importance. We will also include
SM men regardless of their relationship status since ASA can occur in various types of relationships (e.g.,
serious relationship, friends with benefits, acquaintances) and less commonly among strangers. The
methodology includes recruiting a geographically and racially diverse sample of SM men (N = 3,600) via
To ensure racial, ethnic, and gender
diversity in our sample for the purpose of addressing intersectionality (Aim 4), we will oversample Black and/or
Latinx SM men as well as trans and transmasculine men. Participants (N = 3600) will complete online surveys
at 0-, 6-, 12-, 18, and 24- months.
various online platforms and community-based agencies across the U.S.
This proposed project aligns with NIMHD’s research priorities to advance the
scientific understanding of health disparities and improve minority health. Moreover, the proposed project will
provide critically important information that will inform the immediate development of affirming and culturally
grounded prevention programs (to reduce ASA perpetration), risk reduction programs (to reduce ASA
victimization), and intervention initiatives (to reduce adverse outcomes associated with ASA victimization).