Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New study dispels stereotypes about the kind of sex we have

"Of all sexual behaviors that men reported occurring during their last sexual event, those involving the anus were the least common," Rosenberger said. "There is certainly a misguided belief that 'gay sex equals anal sex,' which is simply untrue much of the time." 
via the Indiana University News Room

A new study by researchers at Indiana University and George Mason University found the sexual repertoire of gay men surprisingly diverse, suggesting that a broader, less disease-focused perspective might be warranted by public health and medical practitioners in addressing the sexual health of gay and bisexual men.

The study, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, tapped the largest sample of its kind in the United States to examine the sexual behaviors of gay and bisexual men. In collaboration with the OLB Research Institute at Online Buddies, Inc., researchers were able to include feedback from nearly 25,000 men. While gay study participants reported 1,308 unique combinations of behaviors, the most commonly reported behavior was kissing a partner on the mouth.

From a public health standpoint, say the researchers, this study provides professionals with data on the behavior of men having sex with men (MSM) that was missing from the sexual health discussion.

"Due to the disproportionate impact of HIV among MSM, the majority of research on gay and bisexual men's sexual behavior is situated within the context of disease. This emphasis has resulted in a body of literature about gay and bisexual men that is risk-focused, with limited understanding of the diversity and complexity of these men's sexual lives," said co-author Michael Reece, director of IU's Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

"In order to provide clinicians and public health professionals with the necessary tools to promote sexuality in a positive and healthy manner, a more nuanced understanding of an individual sexual experience was needed." 

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