Simultaneously and conversely, clinical professionals may be underestimating the importance of screening for risky behavior among men who report an ostensibly less-than-risky identity. The present article discusses literature on sexual identity and sexual behavior as it pertains to straight-identifying MSM. Themes of wholistic sexuality and social determinants of health are presented as considerable adjuncts to present conceptualizations of the lived experiences of these men. Recommendations are provided for public health researchers and for health clinicians to better integrate the understanding of identity, behavior, and their intersection. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
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Using sexual health clinics during coronavirus
Join one of our weekly chat-based support groups , facilitated by a counselor. Many people have absorbed the myths to some extent. Below, we outline the myths and the facts—to encourage understanding and healing. Before exploring the myths, though, here are some key facts:. Successful men are depicted as never being vulnerable, either physically or emotionally. Whether you agree with that definition of masculinity or not, boys are not men. They are children. They are weaker and more vulnerable than those who sexually abuse or exploit them — who use their greater size, strength and knowledge to manipulate or coerce boys into unwanted sexual experiences and staying silent.
Still, young gay and bisexual males are at much higher risk for HIV because their sex partners are more likely to be infected with HIV. The analysis is the first nationally representative look at HIV-related risk behaviors among heterosexual, gay, and bisexual male high school students. Roughly the same proportion of gay and bisexual male students and heterosexual male students reported that they:. Despite similar levels of these behaviors, young gay and bisexual males remain at substantially higher risk for HIV infection than heterosexual males, largely because of substantially higher HIV prevalence among their male sexual partners. HIV diagnosis rates are 57 times higher among men who have sex with men MSM than among heterosexual men. The higher level of HIV in a sexual network dramatically increases the risk of HIV exposure with every sexual encounter. While other data indicate that most HIV infections among MSM are sexually acquired, this analysis also found disproportionately high levels of injection drug use, as well as high rates of other types of drug use, among gay and bisexual male students. This compounds their risk for HIV infection. About 10 percent of gay and bisexual male students reported having ever injected drugs, compared with less than 2 percent of heterosexual male students.
This elevated risk persists across age groups and reflects biological and behavioral factors, yet there have been few direct comparisons of sexual behavior patterns between these populations. We compared sexual behavior patterns of MSM and male and female heterosexuals aged 18—39 using 4 population-based random digit dialing surveys. A — survey in 4 U. Sexual debut occurred earlier among MSM than heterosexuals. MSM reported longer cumulative lifetime periods of new partner acquisition than heterosexuals, and a more gradual decline in new partnership formation with age. MSM reported more consistent condom use during anal sex than heterosexuals reported during vaginal sex. MSM have longer periods of partnership acquisition, a higher prevalence of partnership concurrency, and more age-disassortative mixing than heterosexuals. In part, these differences reflect the fact that an individual MSM can engage in both insertive and receptive sexual roles i. Goodreau et al.