Brian Dodge of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, in collaboration with Wendy Bostwick at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing, has received a two-year $453,000 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NIMHD) to examine daily-level minority stressors among racially diverse bisexual men, and how these impact their identity- and health-related experiences.
Health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other sexual and gender minority people exist across the lifespan, and are increasingly well-documented, but gaps remain in our basic understanding of how health status, behaviors and outcomes vary within these groups, especially bisexual individuals. A growing body of evidence suggests that bisexual-identified individuals experience significant health disparities in comparison to heterosexual and gay/lesbian-identified individuals. These include higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders, substance use (including tobacco use), suicidality, as well as disparities related to healthcare access and utilization. However, bisexual men remain relatively invisible in public health research except when studied almost exclusively through a lens of sexual risk behavior.
The new NIH-funded study will include qualitative in-depth interviews as well as innovative electronic daily diary (e-diary) data collection from a sample of Latino, Black, White, and other self-identified bisexual men throughout the metropolitan Chicago area. The research findings will significantly advance our knowledge of the risk factors associated with health disparities faced by racially diverse bisexual men. The multi-method data will be critical for informing directions for future health promotion research and intervention efforts.
The study is led by co-Principal Investigators Dodge (IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, Department of Applied Health Science) and Bostwick (UIC, Department of Health Systems Science), along with co-investigator Jesus Ramirez-Valles (UIC, Division of Community Health Sciences) and Project Director Bria Berger (UIC, Department of Health Systems Science), and will be guided by a local community advisory board including a range of community experts from health and social service organizations across Chicago.