142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Sexual Behaviors, Sex Toy and Condom Use Reported by Women who have Sex with Women and Men (WSWM)

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Vanessa Schick, PhD , Division of Management, Policy and Community Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Laina Bay-Cheng, Ph.D., MSW , State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NC
Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH , School of Medicine, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Introduction: Relative to women who engage in sex with exclusively men or women, women who have sex with women and men (WSWM) are more likely to report a history of sexually transmitted infections.  Knowledge of the diversity and specificity of the sexual behaviors in which they engage may provide insight into the behavioral mechanism of infection. The present study sought to document a range of diverse behaviors including concurrent multi-person sexual activity (i.e., group sex, orgy, threesome), sexual activity involving their own or their partner’s anus, and sex toy use. Barrier use methods during specific behaviors were assessed.

Methods: Eighty women who reported recent genital contact with at least one man and one woman were recruited via targeted internet, venue-based and snowball sampling methods. Consenting participants were directed to an online survey. Items were adapted from the National Survey on Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) and other studies.

Results: The most frequently reported sexual behaviors were similar regardless of partner gender. Almost three-quarters of the sample reported at least one concurrent multi-person sexual activity, with 60% reporting a threesome with a man and a woman. A sizable number of the participants reported engaging in sexual behavior that involved their own or their partner’s anus. Barrier use for sexual behaviors other than penile-vaginal intercourse was uncommon.

Conclusions: The sexual repertoires reported by participants in this study were diverse. Understanding the range of diverse sexual behaviors of the participants may enable the construction of tailored recommendations for sexual health maintenance among WSWM.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the unique sexual health issues faced by behaviorally bisexual women, in comparison to their exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual counterparts. Assess previous research that demonstrates significant health disparities among behaviorally bisexual women. Identify the behavioral repertoires of a diverse sample of behaviorally bisexual women with their male, female and transgender partners. Discuss the sexual and risk behaviors that may be targeted in targeted sexual health promotion intervention efforts in future research.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of this study, which was honored last year with the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the APHA PRSH 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.