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

The finding that the US significantly preferred counseling from the local (Burnett) AIDS clinic, while the SS sought out testing at a number of sites, including general practitioners and STD clinics, is interesting. It suggests that estimates of unsafe sex and HIV prevalence extrapolated from data gathered at alternative test sites is likely to be skewed toward those practicing unsafe sex and, conversely, extrapolation gathered from more traditional sites is likely to underestimate the true extent of unsafe behavior. Consequently, the need for cross-site, comparative behavioral and epidemiological research is indicated. Regarding behavioral correlates of unsafe sexual behavior, there was a high degree of replication across the countries when the components of safer sex were examined separately and less replication when the overall measure of safer sex was used.86


CONCLUSIONS

Overall, the results suggest that safer sex behavior is complexly interrelated with other sexual, prophylactic, and non-drug-using behavior and, further, that it is associated with the social context of both the sexual encounter and the wider social milieu of homosexually active men. For AIDS research it would appear important to consider safer sex in this wider perspective, both to measure potentially negative consequences of AIDS education and to assist in the identification of variables that appear to assist, or at least correlate with, homosexually active men in the practice of safer sex behavior.


NOTES
1.
Vincent van Gogh ( 1853-1890), in Rutledge [ 1988], p. 65.
2.
So, for example, some sample answers to this question include "because all homosexuals are promiscuous, " "because sodomy is against God's law, " "because they have something to learn for their next life, " "because the world is I over-populated and this is nature's way . . ." "because they really hate their mothers, " "because men can't control themselves, " "because they have become complacent, " "because of prejudice, internalized homophobia and/or poor selfesteem, " and "because of fate." Note the different theoretical perspectives implied in the responses and, having read the previous section, the sweeping and inaccurate generalizations required to sustain such notions.
3.
This methodology is not new but mirrors the approach taken by early epidemiologists. Essentially, one identifies the characteristics of those infected with a disease and compares them with a similar group of those without the disease, thus identifying distinguishing characteristics. Here the same process is involved. However, in this case the investigation is socio-sexual, not epidemiological.
4.
Note that no causality is implied here. So, for example, sixteen- to thirtyfive-year-olds are those identified as most at risk of STDs. However, this does not

-107-

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