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      Intersectional Epistemologies of Ignorance: How Behavioral and Social Science Research Shapes What We Know, Think We Know, and Don't Know About U.S. Black Men's Sexualities.

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          Abstract

          Epistemologies of ignorance describe how ignorance influences the production of knowledge. Advancing an intersectional epistemologies of ignorance approach that examines how conscious (or unconscious) ignorance about racism, heterosexism, and classism shapes empirical knowledge about Black men's sexualities, we conducted a critical review of the behavioral and social science research on U.S. Black men, ages 18 and older, for two time frames: pre-1981 and the most recent decade, 2006-2016. Our search yielded 668 articles, which we classified into five categories: sexual violence, sexual experiences and expressions, sexual identities, cultural and social-structural influences, and sexual health and sexual risk. We found that most of the research, particularly pre-1981, centered the experiences of White heterosexual men as normative and implicitly constructed Black men as hypersexual or deviant. Most of the research also color-blinded White privilege and ignored how racism, heterosexism, and classism structured Black men's inequities. We also found notable exceptions to these trends. Black men who are gay, bisexual, or who have sex with men, and research on HIV risk were prominent in the past decade, as was research that emphasized the social-structural (e.g., poverty, heterosexism, racism) and cultural (e.g., masculinity, religion) contexts of Black men's lives and sexualities. We provide 10 recommendations to avoid intersectional epistemic ignorance in future research.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Sex Res
          Journal of sex research
          Informa UK Limited
          1559-8519
          0022-4499
          March 14 2017
          : 54
          : 4-5
          Affiliations
          [1 ] a Department of Psychology , The George Washington University.
          Article
          10.1080/00224499.2017.1295300
          28287844
          ccd1561b-f446-41e5-9f48-7707e1fa7b0e

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