I’m sorry, curry & rice are just not my thing: Online sexual racism as a predictor of body-oriented concerns among East Asian and South Asian sexual minority men

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Online dating applications routinely expose sexual minority men (SMM) of color to an online culture of body objectification and racial prejudice. Dating app use and sexual racism are related to body-oriented concerns among SMM of color. However, no previous research has focused on experiences of sexual racism and body-oriented concerns among Asian SMM. The main purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between two types of online sexual racism (racist rejection and racist exotification) and five types of body-oriented concerns among Asian SMM. The present study also investigated whether the associations between these variables differed by (a) racial/ethnic identity, (b) levels of racial/ethnic identity salience, and (c) levels of identity conflicts. East Asian (n =100) and South Asian (n = 100) SMM were recruited through online advertisements and completed measures for body-oriented concerns and online sexual racism. We found that, at large, both types of sexual racism were positively associated with all types of body-oriented concerns. Racist rejection more strongly predicted body concerns for South Asian SMM, whereas racist exotification more strongly predicted body concerns for East Asian SMM. In some cases, racial/ethnic identity salience and identity conflicts significantly moderated the links between sexual racism and body-oriented concerns, and some of the moderation effects differed by racial/ethnic identity. Implications for researchers, clinicians, and advocates working with Asian SMM are discussed.