184943 Heterosexual anal sex research: Using mixed-methods to understand sexual behavior

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kimberly McBride, PhD, MA , Academic Edge, Inc., Bloomington, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Stephanie Sanders, PhD , Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Background: Heterosexual anal intercourse (HAI) appears to be an increasingly frequently practiced element of the sexual repertoire, yet few studies address the attitudes, motivations and behaviors associated with HAI. Methods: Sample 1- Anal sexual behavior data from heterosexual men (N =1478). Sample 2 Attitudes about anal sex from 108 undergraduate students who completed open-ended questions were analyzed using a thematic framework. Sample 3 - A qualitative analysis of contemporary attitudes and motivations about HAI used content from news and magazine articles, and blogs. Results: Sample 1 18% of men (N=244) reported HAI within the past 30 days. Respondents with AI experience reported other anal sexual behaviors (oral/anal contact [24%], digital penetration of partner [53%]) more often than those without HAI (oral/anal contact [4%], digital penetration [10%]). Sample 2 Negative views of HAI were common, most often associated with themes of male homosexuality. Sample 3 Six predominant motivations for HAI included intimacy/trust, control/domination, novelty/variety, relationship context, pain/pleasure, and breaking taboo. Discussion: HAI is a relatively common sexual behavior, and anal sexual behaviors are not limited to penile-anal penetration. The complex interplay of motivations and stigmatizing attitudes suggest substantial difficulty in reducing risks associated with HAI. This suggests the need for more direct approaches to HAI within the context of safer sex education and STI/HIV prevention programs. New research should address the incorporation of anal-sexual behaviors into larger repertories of sexual behavior.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to identify relevent event level factors associated with risk of exposure and transmission of HIV/STI Participants will understand the utility of mixed-methods approaches to researching sexual behavior Participants will be able to describe sexual health risks associated with heterosexual anal sex behaviors

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Study design, data analyses, and interpretation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.