Sexual orientation and sexual behavior patterns: Evaluation of agreement and variation in a cohort of male, African American drug users in Houston, Texas

Kyle L Gummelt, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Background. Sexual orientation and sexual behavior among men have shown disagreement in past studies. The term "on the down low" has been adopted by many to describe "straight" identifying men who have sex with men but do not inform their primary female partner. Methods. This secondary analysis of data collected from the "DASH Project---A Hepatitis B Vaccine Model for HIV Vaccine Trial in Drug Users," assessed sexual behavior patterns among African American drug-using men over time. Using a screener questionnaire to determine sexual orientation and sexual behavior of the men, the study specifically evaluated "straight" identified men who have sex with women only (MSW) to determine what factors were associated with sexual behavior variation to include men during follow-up. The Fisher's Exact Test was used to evaluate the factors. Results. Variation of sexual behavior was highest among "bisexual" identified men followed by "gay" identified men. Fifteen of the original 593 "straight" and MSW men had sexual behavior variation to include men. In the analysis of "straight" and MSW men with variation in sexual behavior compared to those who did not, living on the streets, greater number of sexual partners, trading sex for drugs, and trading sex for money were associated with sexual behavior variation (all p-values <0.01). Conclusions. The factors were only associated when considering the interview when the variation occurred. The same factors at screening were not predictive of sexual behavior variation in the future. Environmental factors, such as living situation, appear to play a role in sexual behavior variations in "straight" and MSW men. Keywords. sexual behavior, sexual orientation, Fisher's Exact Test

Subject Area

African Americans|Behaviorial sciences|Public health

Recommended Citation

Gummelt, Kyle L, "Sexual orientation and sexual behavior patterns: Evaluation of agreement and variation in a cohort of male, African American drug users in Houston, Texas" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1444362.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI1444362

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