Sexual Minority-focused Sport Group Involvement in Reducing the Impact of Homophobic Stigmatization on Internalized Homophobia and Degree of Disclosure
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The homophobic stigmatization that many gay and lesbian individuals are exposed to, can have negative implications for their well-being. Sexual minority-focused sport group involvement is one way to boost well-being in the face of adversity. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between gay and lesbian individuals’ involvement in sexual minority-focused sport and internalized homophobia and identity disclosure. This study was pursued through secondary data analysis of Dr. Steven Mock’s sport group study. Participants of the study were gay men and lesbian women who were involved in one or a number of same sex focused sport groups. Internalized homophobia and identity disclosure were assessed in conjunction with level of involvement. As expected, those who had negative experiences with homophobic stigmatization had a lower prevalence of identity disclosure and higher levels of internalized homophobia. Those who had a high level of sport group involvement and experienced a high level of negative experiences had those negative experiences buffered by involvement. These high involvement individuals experienced greater identity disclosure and lower internalized homophobia than would be expected.