Methods: Our study used a cross-sectional design, drawing from secondary data from the Latino MSM Community Involvement: HIV Protective Effects survey. The original study explored protective effects of community involvement in HIV/AIDS organizations. For the current study, we employed multivariate logistic regression to investigate the relationship between childhood experience of homophobic bullying and age of sexual onset among a sample of gay, bisexual, and transgender Latine men. Two covariates, sexual and gender identity and reason for first sexual experience, were included in the analysis. To better understand the relationship between these constructs, we explored the role of familial religiosity as a potential moderating factor.
Results: Our analysis model accounted for 21.6% of the variance in age of sexual onset. Childhood experience of homophobic bullying was significantly and negatively related to age of sexual onset, indicating that for each unit increase in frequency of homophobic bullying during childhood, age of sexual onset decreased by .094 years. Familial religiosity did not significantly moderate the relationship between homophobic bullying and age of sexual onset. Reasons for engaging in sexual activity (affection, sexual victimization, and substance use) were significantly linked to age of sexual onset. Gay, bisexual, or transgender identity showed no statistically significant association with age of sexual onset.
Conclusion and Implications: We sought to assess the relationship between homophobic bullying and sexual onset and the role of familial religiosity as a moderator. Findings suggest a relationship between homophobic bullying and sexual onset, which can inform social work practice with sexual, gender, and racial minorities; and support the development of comprehensive sex education programs.