The influence of masculinity ideology on high-risk sexual behavior among men who have sex with men

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Wheldon, Christopher
Masculinity; Sexual behavior; HIV/AIDS; MSM; Barebacking
thesis / dissertation description
Epidemiologic evidence shows that the incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) is on the rise. high-risk sexual behaviors are the primary mode of transmission and are responsible for increased rates of infection. a growing body of evidence suggests that endorsement of normative beliefs and values regarding manhood and masculinity, or masculinity ideology, may help to explain certain high-risk sexual behaviors. this study investigated the associations between a measure of masculinity ideology and sexual risk taking among a sample of MSM. in addition, indirect pathways in which masculinity ideology may lead to sexual risk taking were explored, including the use of the internet to meet sex partners and the use of drugs during sexual encounters. a cross-sectional, web-based survey was used to collect data from participants recruited via the internet (n=907) Correlation and multiple regression analysis supported the hypotheses that masculinity ideology was positively associated with the number of sexual partners and frequency of unprotected anal intercourse in the previous six months. Higher endorsement of masculinity ideology was also positively associated with greater intentions for unprotected anal sex. This study adds to the growing body of literature on the subject of gender ideologies and sexual behavior and offers additional avenues for public health research.