Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Wendy J. Harrod


The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between homosexual identity and the Internet, using an online sample from Southern China. The goals of this research are (1) to document the nature of participants' homosexual identity (including their history of sexual experiences, their level of self-acceptance, and their fears of disclosure); (2) to describe participants' Internet use and attitudes (including the functions they most frequently use, and how much they value the anonymity provided by the Internet); and (3) to explore the relationships between these two sets of factors.

Using secondary data from an LGBT oriented website in Guangdong, China, I conducted correlational and mediation analyses. Results reveal support for most of the hypotheses, except that Internet use had little to do with participants' level of sexual identity. A strong mediation effect was found between low self-acceptance and high perceived importance of Internet anonymity, with disclosure comfort mediating the relationship. Findings suggest that more qualitative research is needed in order to better understand the function of the Internet in sexual identity formation among gay men in Southern China.

Copyright Owner

Liqi Huang



File Format


File Size

57 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons