First Comes Marriage, Then Comes the Election: Macro-level Event Impacts on African American, Latina/x, and White Sexual Minority Women
Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Introduction: Sexual minority women (SMW) may have different experiences of macro-level events, such as changes in marriage laws or election outcomes, related to their multiple identities. African American, Latina/x, and White identities intersect with gender/sex and sexual identity to influence experiences at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, social, and political levels of the socio-ecological environment. Methods: Participants include 100 African American, 35 Latina/x, and 164 White SMW (N = 299) in wave 4 (2017–2019) of a longitudinal study of SMW’s health conducted in the USA (Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women Study). Responses to nine open-ended survey questions about marriage equality and the 2016 Presidential election were examined. Results: Thematic analysis noted similarities across groups and focused on group differences in four areas: (1) personal well-being (including fear and anxiety about discrimination; risk associated with masculine presentation; and religion as stress and support); (2) interpersonal relationships (including relationships with partners, family, and in a community); (3) societal discrimination and prejudice (including harassment in public spaces and concerns about travel); and (4) civil rights, government harassment, and police-state violence. Conclusions: Emerging differences emphasized the impact of race/ethnicity and the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender on experiences of marriage equality and the 2016 election. Policy Implications: Findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of the experiences of individuals with different racial/racialized identities and the intersection of race/ethnicity with sexual identities is essential to creating culturally competent and effective supports for SMW.
National Institutes of Health
2016 election, Intersectionality, Minority stress, Same-sex marriage, Sexual minority women
Ellen D.B. Riggle, Laurie A. Drabble, Alicia K. Matthews, Cindy B. Veldhuis, Robyn A. Nisi, and Tonda L. Hughes. "First Comes Marriage, Then Comes the Election: Macro-level Event Impacts on African American, Latina/x, and White Sexual Minority Women" Sexuality Research and Social Policy (2021): 112-126. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-020-00435-z