241626 Sexual Behaviors and Experiences among Bisexual Men in the Midwestern United States

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Phillip Schnarrs, MA , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Michael Reece, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Omar Martinez, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
David Malebranche, MD, MPH , Division of General Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Gabriel Goncalves, BS , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH , Division of Infectious Diseases, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Ryan Nix, BA , Step Up, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Introduction: Limited research exists examining the sexual lives of bisexual men. Most studies continue to focus on understanding sexual risk in a small number of dichotomous heterosexual/homosexual behaviors, which may not be appropriate within the context of bisexual men's diverse sexual behaviors and experiences. This research aimed to assess a broad range of sexual behaviors and associated experiences among bisexual men living in a Midwestern region of the United States. Methods: Researchers completed in-depth interviews with 75 men who engaged in bisexual behavior within the past six months. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was included regarding lifetime and recent sexual behaviors and experiences with both men and women. The findings from this portion of the interview were quantified and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: A wide range of sexual behaviors with partners of both genders was found. Reported levels of pleasure, arousal and sexual function were similar with both male and female sexual partners. Condom use was relatively high and the majority of participants used condoms during insertive sexual behaviors with male and female partners, but less during oral sex. High risk behaviors, such as receptive anal sex, were less common. Discussion: Overall, behaviors and experiences were markedly similar regardless of partner gender; however, unlike other populations, men shared these experiences with partners of both genders. Findings have implications for how prevention messages may be structured for programs specifically targeting bisexual men, rather than relying on traditional interventions for exclusively heterosexual or homosexual men that may not meet their needs.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of attending this session, participants will: 1. understand that previous research on bisexual men is highly limited in that it has not assessed a wide range of sexual behaviors among this population, while simultaneously characterizing them as "high risk;" 2. learn that bisexual men engage in an exceptionally diverse behavioral repertoire in comparison to other men, and that their most commonly reported behaviors are masturbation, vaginal sex, and receiving oral sex from both men and women; 3. value the importance of acknowledging the diversity of bisexual men's sexual behaviors and experiences beyond "having sex" with both men and women

Keywords: Bisexual, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Principal Investigator on this study and program chair of the APHA HIV/AIDS section.
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.