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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UNITED STATES: Sexual Behaviors and Situational Characteristics of Most Recent Male-Partnered Sexual Event Among Gay and Bisexually Identified Men in the United States
Joshua G. Rosenberger, PhD, MPH, and others
October 25, 2011
Journal of Sexual Medicine doi:10.1111/j.1743-

Fewer than half of the gay and bisexually identified men surveyed for the current study said their most recent male- partnered sexual event involved anal intercourse.

The researchers sought to document the sexual behaviors reported by gay and bisexual men and to describe the situational characteristics and participants' evaluation of the events. "Recent nationally representative studies documenting event-level sexual behavior have included samples that are predominantly heterosexual, resulting in limited information on the sexual repertoire of gay and bisexually identified men," the authors wrote.

The team used an Internet survey to collect data from 24,787 gay and bisexually identified men from 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The measures included items relating to sociodemographics, recent history of sexual behavior, situational characteristics, orgasm, and ratings of arousal and pleasure.

Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 87 with a mean age of 39.2 years. Most (79.9 percent) identified as homosexual. Ethnicities represented included white (84.6 percent), Latino (6.4 percent,) and African-American (3.6 percent).

Kissing a partner on the mouth was the most commonly reported behavior (74.5 percent), followed by oral sex (72.7 percent) and partnered masturbation (68.4 percent). Anal intercourse was reported by 37.2 percent of respondents; the highest level of participation in anal sex (42.7 percent) was reported by men ages 18-24.

The most common location for sex was the participant's home (46.8 percent), with fewer men reporting locations including hotels (7.4 percent) and public places (3.1 percent). Most men (63.2 percent) said their most recent sexual event included five to nine different sexual behaviors.

"These data provide one of the first examinations of sexual behaviors during the most recent male-partnered sexual event among gay and bisexually identified men in the United States," the authors concluded. "Findings from this study suggest that gay and bisexually identified men have a diverse sexual repertoire and that partnered sexual behaviors are not limited solely to acts of penile insertion."