Research investigating the role of religion in the lives of young men who have sex with men (YMSM) is limited. Given the unique developmental stage of emerging adults and the fact that most religions have restrictions on homosexual behavior, it is important to understand how YMSM integrate their sexual and religious/spiritual identities. Drawing upon a longitudinal, mixed methods study, we explore the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of a sample of YMSM. Presented are descriptions of messages about homosexuality from religious contexts and how these messages are internal-ized. The process used to resolve the conflict between these messages and their sexual identity is then described. Findings discuss how to help YMSM retain the more supportive and nurturing aspects of religion to integrate their sexual and religious identities for a functional support system.
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