Living on the down low: stories from African American men

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dc.contributor Wilcoxon, S. Allen
dc.contributor Burnham, Joy J.
dc.contributor Ballard, Rebecca M.
dc.contributor Simon, Cassandra E.
dc.contributor.advisor Carmichael, Karla D.
dc.contributor.advisor Pleasants, Heather M. Wilson, Priscilla Gann 2017-02-28T22:20:26Z 2017-02-28T22:20:26Z 2009
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000023
dc.identifier.other Wilson_alatus_0004D_10052
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract This study examined the lived experiences of African American men who publicly identified as heterosexual, but privately engaged in intimate relationships with other men. These men are identified by several terminologies including Down Low (DL) and men who have sex with men (MSM). Seven men participated in the study which consisted of three audiotaped phone interviews over the course of three months. One of the participants withdrew from the study before his last interview. The participants identified themselves as being African American, over the age of 19, and having lived, or are currently living, on the DL. The participants were interviewed about their experiences including family of origin beliefs about people who were gay, influences in the African American community that shaped their sexual identity construction, their lives on the DL, mental health issues that they may have experienced, and disclosure and non-disclosure of their sexual identity. Phenomenological research methodswere used to collect and analyze and data along with the theoretical methodological framework of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which was used as a tool to identify how factors of race, gender, and sexuality play roles in the construction of African American DL and MSM. QSR NVIVO qualitative research software was also used to code categories and identify relationships that resulted from coding the transcripts. Themes that resulted from the data analysis included how the African American family and community (including the church) influenced the construction of sexual identity of African American men. Other themes included masculinity, mental health issues and the issue of disclosure and non disclosure of sexual identity among African American DL and MSM. The CRT concept of counterstories allowed the men to discuss pivotal stories that marked a defining moment in their lived experiences. Research is still needed to further explore sexual behavior of African Americans. Counselors and mental health providers are encouraged to educate themselves about the sexual identity construction of African Americans, and how factors in the African American family and community continue to shape the sexual identity of its members.
dc.format.extent 172 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.haspart Includes separate pdf appendix.
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Health Sciences, Mental Health
dc.subject.other Psychology, Behavioral
dc.subject.other Black Studies
dc.title Living on the down low: stories from African American men
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Dept. of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling Counselor Education-Community The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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