Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

By B. R. Simon Rosser | Go to book overview
Different homosexual behaviors are non-random and cluster into a limited number of dimensions. There appears to be a fluidity of role in receptive and insertive practices. Across time and country, three patterns of behavior were discernible: an anally oriented, high HIV risk pattern; an orally oriented, low HIV risk pattern; and a sado-masochistic, high HIV risk pattern. Given the complexity of sexual behavior, it would appear reductionistic to simply dichotomize homosexual behavior as safe or unsafe.

NOTES
1.
Porn star Kurt Marshall, quoted in Rutledge [ 1988], p. 131.
2.
See Rosser [1988d].
3.
The stability of safer sex in the SA sample is the subject of Chapter 17, as it examines stability under special conditions. The reader is reminded that experimental interventions, covered in Chapter 16, occurred between measures. However, as these interventions did not significantly discriminate between the control condition and the other conditions, overall measures of safer sex and unsafe sex shall be used in comparing the NZ sample over time.
4.
For the definition of safer sex, see Chapter 2.
5.
Alternatively, it might be argued that this result is really an artifact of sampling bias, that is, that those already practicing safer sex were more likely to enter the study. However, three factors argue strongly against a sampling bias explanation. First, studies investigating volunteer bias in sexual behavior research indicate that rather than the sexually conservative, it is the more sexually experienced and exclusively homosexual who are likely to respond to such studies [ Burdick & Stewart, 1974; Wolchik, Braver & Jensen, 1985]. Second, recruitment strategies varied across the samples yet produced similar results. In NZ recruitment both within the gay community and in the wider general community was as wide as possible but avoided volunteers from clinical settings, while in SA volunteers were recruited from the local AIDS/STD clinic and gay organizations, with less advertising in the general media. Third, examination of the demographic characteristics of the sample revealed considerable heterogeneity in the sample on variables such as age, socio-economic status, and marital status. (See Chapter 3 for precise details.)
6.
X2 = 4.60, df = 1, p ≪.05. This finding cannot be attributed to differential rates of return between those practicing safer sex at baseline and those not doing so. While in the total NZ sample 119 of 159 (74.7%) were identified as practicing safer sex, 106 of 140 (75.7%) of those who filled in the follow-up questionnaire practiced safer sex at baseline, a non-significant difference, X2 = 0.033, df = 1, ns.
7.
From these data it should not be assumed that respondents were unwilling to change their sexual behavior. Coleman [ 1990] has documented the profoundly debilitating effects of obsessive-compulsive sexual behavior (OCSB), where the person experiences no choice in his or her actions and, indeed, may be profoundly disturbed by his or her behavior and/or thoughts. Coleman, Rosser, and Strapko [ 1990] argue that OCSB needs to be recognized as dysfunctional and distinguished from developmental and other homosexual behavior. At least for some homosexually active men, they assert, unsafe sex needs to be identified and understood to be a manifestation of OCSB and so treated with appropriate psychotherapeutic and pharmacological intervention.
8.
Wood et al., [ 1988].

-94-

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