Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

David Pantalone

Second Advisor

Karen Suyemoto

Third Advisor

Ryan Wade


Sexual racism is racial discrimination and prejudice that occurs in the context of romance, dating, or sex. Sexual racism sustains White supremacy and reflects a hierarchy of desirability where White men are positioned at the top. With the increased popularity of online dating, online apps have become significant settings in which sexual racism pervades. Among the groups disproportionately affected by sexual racism are Asian American sexual minority men (ASMM). The present study explored different features of sexual racism and the interrelations between features of sexual racism, internalized racism, and mental health (anxiety, depression, stress, and problematic alcohol use) among 155 ASMM. Descriptive analyses exploring different features of sexual racism revealed that White rejection and same-race rejection were among the highest reported scores for our sample. Results also revealed that higher reports of White rejection were significantly associated with elevated anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms. Additionally, higher reports of same-race physical objectification and degradation were significantly associated with elevated anxiety symptoms. Lastly, moderation analyses demonstrated that the association between experiences of sexual racism and depression depended on levels of internalized racism. Our study supplies support for the connection between experiences of sexual racism and mental health and draws attention to addressing sexual racism as an important social determinant of ASMM mental health. Ultimately, our findings can inform multi-level prevention and intervention efforts to minimize experiences of sexual racism as well as ameliorate its negative effects in ASMM communities.


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