186980 Bisexuality and condom use among men: The importance of multiple sexual orientation measures

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

William L. Jeffries IV, MA , Department of Sociology; Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Barbara A. Zsembik, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Chuck W. Peek, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: Are bisexual men at elevated risk of unprotected sex than gay/homosexual and heterosexual men? Although findings from convenience samples suggest that they are, researchers have overwhelmingly used behavioral measures of bisexuality. Recent studies, however, propose that subjective measures of sexual orientation also are significant for this outcome. This study examined sexual identity, attraction, and behavior in relation to condom use among bisexual men in the United States. Methods: Data came from the National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally-representative probabilistic sample. Condom use at last sexual contact was specific to bisexually-active men's male and female partners. In a nested design, logistic regression models measured bisexual identity, attraction, and behavior in relation to condom use. Multivariate analyses controlled for identity, behavior, attraction, sociodemographic factors, and risk covariates. Results: Based upon the men's most recent male partners, bisexual (versus heterosexual) attraction was associated with an elevated odds of condom use. Identity, attraction, and behavior did not distinguish bisexual men from gay/homosexual men. Bisexuality measures were not significant upon controlling for sociodemographic and risk factors. Based upon their most recent female partners, having bisexual (versus heterosexual) attraction remained positively associated with condom use; however, behavioral bisexuals (versus heterosexuals or homosexuals) were also more likely to use condoms. These differences persisted in fully adjusted models. Conclusions: In studies of health, it is important to employ multiple measures of bisexuality rather than single measures alone. Even so, this study highlights the significance of examining specific behaviors when determining risks among bisexual men.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the importance of using multiple sexual orientation measures. 2. Describe the flaws inherrent in using only convenience samples in studies of sexual minority men. 3. Articulate future avenues of research on bisexual men's health.

Keywords: Bisexual, Condom Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In my PhD program, I have spent the past 4 years conducting research on HIV-related health among men. In peer-reviewed journals, I have published 5 articles on sexual health, and 4 of these have focused on sexual orientation-related health. I also have 3 articles under review in peer-reviewed journals. I have received significant research training in sociology, epidemiology, statistics, and survey data analysis at the University of Florida. Additionally, I was a presenter at APHA during the last three years. The soundness of my research has resulted in me being awarded the student award by the HIV/AIDS section and a quantitative research excellence award by the University of Florida Department of Sociology. Further, I have been a research assistant on three federally-funded projects.
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.