This article discusses the relationships between structural racism and black and white sexuality and discusses whether the culture of hookup culture is a white thing or a black one. It also examines the prevalence of HIV in the sexual networks of young black MSM. Finally, it looks at inequitable experiences with sexual health care.
Relationships between structural racism and black and white sexuality
The historical context of structural racism continues to shape sexual and reproductive health for African American women. As shown in Figure 2, there is a long history of social conditions that have negatively impacted Black MSM’s health, even after legalized slavery ended. While there have been significant improvements in public health and healthcare systems over the years, racial disparities still remain.
As a result, structural racism has been linked to an elevated risk of disease. According to Chandra Jackson, a research investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, structural racism is the cumulative effect of racial discrimination in a society, which is reinforced by various, mutually reinforcing systems, including housing and employment. This leads to a maldistribution of resources, including health.
The study shows that while race, class, gender, and sexuality are all interrelated, people of the same race and class experience these factors differently. While the effects of gender were minimal, homosexuals were not significantly different from heterosexuals, and class was the strongest distinct predictor of health. Nevertheless, the intersectionality of race, class, and sexual orientation is still an important consideration, particularly in Canadian contexts.
Hookup culture is a white thing
The hookup culture that is common in America has been shaped by white people. It caters to certain groups and ignores others. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in racial inequalities. Hookup culture is more common among white college students than among people of color. The participants of hookup culture tend to be heterosexual, able-bodied, and white. Moreover, they are also perceived as more “normal” than those from minority groups.
Moreover, it is important to realize that a young person has many years to spend with peers before he or she marries. Thus, the peer group remains the center of the young adult’s identity for longer. Furthermore, hookup culture is associated with terms like ghosting, simmering, and power parting. The latter implies a more definitive break-up that allows a person to heal faster.
Hookup culture has long been associated with white male college students. In fact, journals from the 1800s show rich young white male college students having sex with poor women, prostitutes, and enslaved African Americans. Wade explains that hookup culture is more common among students who are white, heterosexual, able-bodied, and conventionally attractive.
HIV prevalence in sexual networks of HIV-negative young black MSM
In a study comparing HIV prevalence in HIV-negative and HIV-positive young black MSM, we found that the HIV prevalence in HIV-negative and HIV-infected networks was higher among young black MSM than among white MSM. HIV prevalence was also higher among unemployed black MSM than among employed black MSM. The HIV prevalence among HIV-negative black MSM seeds aged 18-24 years was 36%, while it was only 2% in networks originating from HIV-positive young black MSM.
HIV prevalence was higher in Port Elizabeth than in Cape Town, and in HIV-positive participants were less likely to be bisexual than HIV-infected participants. HIV prevalence was also significantly higher among young MSM than among older MSM. HIV prevalence was also associated with age, sex orientation, and gender identity.
HIV prevalence in sexual networks of HIV-negative black MSM may be influenced by factors such as low SEP and racial discrimination. Lower SEP has also been linked to higher HIV transmission rates. This could be because lower SEPs result in more stress, which can lead to risky behaviors. Additionally, poor access to healthcare may lead to HIV infections that are undiagnosed and remain untreated. Furthermore, geographical restrictions may result in close-knit sexual networks with higher proportions of HIV-infected people.
Inequitable experiences with sexual health care
Inequitable experiences with sexual health care remain a pressing concern in the United States. While efforts to reduce health disparities remain a high priority, little research has been done to understand racial differences in patient/provider conversations about sexual health. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and extent of racial differences in healthcare provider-patient discussions regarding sexual health.
Racial and ethnic discrimination is closely related to sexual health. These forms of discrimination can lead to higher rates of illness and harm. Sexual health refers to a person’s physical well-being and includes sexually transmitted infections, family planning, unintentional pregnancy, and abortion. Whether or not a person receives adequate sexual health care is largely influenced by their sociocultural background. Health systems need to address these factors.
Inequitable experiences with sexual health care are often the result of structural racism. Although sexual health services are necessary for the well-being of individuals, many people struggle to access them. Furthermore, many ethnic minorities experience social discrimination and cultural bias, which may further impact their experiences.