Marginalized, Privileged, or Both
Due to the intersection of their race and gender categories, with one (race) being marginalized and the other (gender) being privileged, men of color have unique experiences of gendered racism, defined as the ways in which racist incidents are focused specifically on their race-gender categorization. Research has shown that gendered racist experiences are related to worse mental health outcomes in men of color. However, it is not known how men of color’s understanding of themselves, as both people of color and men, interacts with the relationships between their gendered racist experiences and mental health. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to explore men of color’s racial and maleness identities in relation to their mental health and gendered racist experiences.Adult men of color (N = 195) were invited to complete measures that assessed gendered racist experiences (Everyday Discrimination Scale), racial identity (People of color Racial Identity Attitudes Scale), maleness identity (Maleness Identity Attitudes Scale), and psychological distress and wellbeing as mental health outcomes (Mental Health Inventory). Multivariate regression analyses revealed that more experiences of gendered racism were related to higher levels of psychological distress, but were not related to psychological wellbeing. Simple linear moderation analyses indicated that racial identity moderated the relationship between gendered racist experiences and psychological distress, while maleness identity moderated the relationship between gendered racist experiences and psychological wellbeing, in some instances. Moderated moderation analyses indicated that the interaction between racial and maleness identities did not moderate the relationship between experiences with gendered racism and mental health in most instances. Collectively, the results indicate that the ways in which men of color make sense of themselves as people of color and men, independently, have implications for how gendered racist experiences relate to their mental health. However, results did not paint a clear picture of how men of color’s conceptualizations of themselves as both people of color and men relates to their experiences of gendered racism and mental health. Limitations, including the availability of measures for assessing men of color’s identities holistically rather than independently, are addressed. Implications of the results for intersectionality theory and research, practice, and lay men are discussed.