My brother and hero Dr. David Malebranche - Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University - presented data on a study he conducted entitled The Impact of Gender Role Conflict and Black Racial Identification on Sexual Risk Behavior among Black MSM in the United States.
For this project, he surveyed 480 Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in Atlanta, Georgia, in order to assess the potential relationship between their gender role conflict (this whole concept of needing to conform to the socially determined norms of masculinity, in this case) and their black racial identity with respect to sexual risk behavior.
He concluded that while gender role conflict and racial identity were not necessarily important predictors of condom use among the men in this sample, as it relates to their sexual relations with other men, more research is necessary to determine whether or not these factors are predictors of condom use among men who have sex with men and women (MSMW).
In other words, does the way that we are socialized as Black men in America have any effect on the sexual risks that we assume with our female partners versus with our male partners.
Studies of this nature are important in determining the sexual risk behaviors of Black MSMW, particularly in light of the increasing HIV infection rate among Black women. David has been long set on disproving the myth that Down Low men are primarily responsible this rising epidemic.
I am proud to note that I served as a research assistant on this project while visiting ATL for Black Gay Pride in August of 2006! Pretty hot, huh?!