Disadvantaged Neighborhood, Masculinity, and Compulsory (Hetero)sexuality


Hsu, Feng-Yuan (2019). Disadvantaged Neighborhood, Masculinity, and Compulsory (Hetero)sexuality. Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. New York, NY.


Neighborhoods are influential contexts at the nexus of culture and inequalities that drive stratification outcomes and health disparities. Particularly, sociologists and public health scholars consistently found strong associations between neighborhood context, especially cultural frames of sexual partnering and physical disorder in poor neighborhoods, and risky sexual behaviors among heterosexual teenagers and men who have sex with men (MSM) in recent studies. Despite the longstanding interests in sexual behaviors, this line of research has largely ignored the LGBT population and the possible links between neighborhood cultural contexts and sexual identification. The disappearance of sexual identities in neighborhood-level analysis not only renders the sexual minorities invisible in neighborhood studies but also casts a shadow on HIV/AIDS prevention when the researchers are unable to grasp the underlying cultural mechanism in the neighborhood with straight-identified MSM.  This study has two main goals: First, I examine the hypothesis about the cultural frame of “player” status attainment in disadvantaged neighborhoods. According to this hypothesis, the young men living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to believe that having (heterosexual) sex means gaining respect among their peers. Second, I examine the nexus of neighborhood poverty and sexual identity by testing the relationship between disadvantaged neighborhoods and sexual identification to see if young men growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods are more likely to report sexual identification discordance than the ones growing up in low-poverty neighborhoods. This study proposes to use a nationally representative dataset, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, to examine the hypotheses above. This research adds to the existing theoretical and empirical literature on inequalities and sexualities in neighborhood contexts by shedding additional lights on the potential cultural mechanism that drives sexual identification discordance and straight-identified MSM in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association


Hsu, Feng-Yuan

Year Published


City of Publication

New York, NY

Reference ID