Challenging Assumptions: Gender Non-Comforming Gay & Bi Men In SA

Published: October 28, 2014

Khulukazi Soldati
Original Article:

Studies conducted in 2005, 2006 and 2007 in Western countries have consistently demonstrated that as a consequence of more frequent discrimination, gender non-conforming (GNC) gay and bisexual men experience more mental distress than gender conforming gay or bisexual men. Similar studies have not been undertaken in low and middle-income countries, despite the fact that gender non-conformity is evident in expressions of same-sex sexuality in such countries.

The recent South African (SA) study explored two things. Firstly, whether GNC among gay and bisexual black men in SA, was associated with depression and, if this is the case, whether the association was mediated or moderated by discrimination.

Secondly, the study explored the potential protective effect of being “out” as same-sex oriented as well as community involvement on the relationship between GNC and depression.

The study found that in South Africa GNC is pervasive in the expression of same-sex sexuality. It also found that the expression of same-sex sexuality seems to reproduce a binary of masculinity and femininity among gay and bisexual men much more than in developed countries.

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