The Protective Role of Identity Integration Against Internalised Sexual Prejudice for Religious Gay Men
journal contributionposted on 2022-01-05, 06:52 authored by Joel AndersonJoel Anderson, Kiernan Emma, Koc Yasin
Identification with multiple, seemingly incompatible identities has been linked to poor psychological well-being outcomes, including shame and guilt. However, the outcome of internalized sexual prejudice (ISP) has received scant attention in identity-conflict literature. The present study investigated the identity-conflict management strategy of identity integration as a protective factor against ISP in men who identify as both gay and religious. Additionally, this study explored the role of religious comfort and religious conflict in ISP, and whether gay-religious identity integration acts as a moderating variable for these relationships. The results of an online survey of 178 gay Australian men (Mage = 29.32 years, SD = 10.46) were analyzed using a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis. As predicted, greater gay-religious identity integration predicted lower levels of ISP. Unexpectedly, religious comfort was positively related to ISP, and religious conflict was unrelated to ISP. Gay-religious identity integration was found to moderate these effects, demonstrating the protective influence of identity integration and multiple group membership against negative psychological outcomes in religious gay men. This study challenges the assumption that religious and sexual minority identities are dichotomous, emphasizes the benefits of multiple group membership, and may offer a foundation for further inquiry into the influence of gay-religious identity integration.