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Zhengjia Ren
Ralph Hood
Chunsong Yang
Xiqi Lu
Qiuyu Su
Li Tsingan


self-construal, homophobia, cross-cultural, homosexuality


Background and Objective
Internalized homophobia is common among gay men. Gay men who live in high-tolerance social environments tend to have less internalized homophobia than gay men who live in low-tolerance environments. The interaction between the living environment and self-construal influences gay men’s internalized homophobia.

Material and Methods
This study examined the association between self-construal and homophobia according to the living environment using a sample of gay men (N=521) aged 14–43 years. The data were collected between January and August 2017 using an online questionnaire that included an internalized homophobia scale, self-construal items, and demographic characteristics. The two-way ANOVA analyses revealed that the self-construal type was differentially associated with internalized homophobia depending on the living environment of the study participants.

Living in a high-tolerance area while having an independent self-construal was associated with lower internalized homophobia scores than living in a low-tolerance area. In contrast, alternating between independent and dependent self-construals was associated with higher internalized homophobia scores.

Mental health services for participants with conflicted self-construals are emerging. Self-acceptance and compassion-focused practices should be explored as a way to help gay men adjust their conflicted self-construals.


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