The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3358.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #59035

Campus sexual cruising by gay and bisexual men: A public health issue?

Michael Reece, PhD, MPH, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 E. Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7109, 812-855-0068, and Brian Dodge, PhD, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Sciences, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 15, New York, NY 10032.

Background: Behaviors associated with seeking anonymous sexual partners in public places, commonly referred to as “cruising,” have been characterized as a significant public health issue in much of the HIV-related literature. To date, virtually none of this work has specifically studied cruising in college campus venues and the potential for it to have both positive and negative physical, mental, and social health outcomes. Methods: A mixed methods design was used to conduct an exploratory study on the phenomenon of cruising for sex on a college campus. In-depth interviews and detailed sexual behavior inventories were conducted with 30 men who identified as having participated in sexual activity with other men in public campus spaces. Results: Findings indicated that campus sexual cruising simultaneously presented the potential for both positive and negative health outcomes. The characteristics of cruising behaviors and spaces facilitated for some, and prevented for others, participation in HIV-risk behaviors, although men consistently described behaviors that placed them at increased risk for other STD infection. With regard to mental health and social well-being, men reported both positive and negative health outcomes. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that not all health outcomes of cruising are negative. Public health workers, when collaborating with college administrators to respond to cruising activity, will develop more effective and realistic responses by understanding the complexity of the social and cultural characteristics of cruising and the extent to which they challenge the health of men who cruise.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Gay Men, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: none
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Topics in LGBT Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA