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Prevalence and Social Distribution of Men Who Have Sex with Men: United States and Its Urban Centers

Diane Binson, Stuart Michaels, Ron Stall, Thomas J. Coates, John H. Gagnon and Joseph A. Catania
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 32, No. 3 (1995), pp. 245-254
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812794
Page Count: 10
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Prevalence and Social Distribution of Men Who Have Sex with Men: United States and Its Urban Centers
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Abstract

Prevalence data on the social distribution and AIDS-related risk behavior of men who have sex with men are presented from two national probability surveys [General Social Survey (GSS) and National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS)] and a probability survey of urban centers in the U.S. [National AIDS Behavioral Surveys (NABS)]. Men residing in large cities, the highly educated, and Whites were more likely to report sex with men. In the urban sample (NABS), one third reported sex with women. In addition, minority men were more likely to report sex with men and women. More than half of the men with an HIV risk factor reported consistent condom use. The surveys were based on two different modes of interviewing (self-administered and telephone), conducted independently of each other and by different organizations. The prevalence estimates from these surveys are consistent with each other and with other population-based surveys in the United States and Europe. We discuss these data in light of the ongoing debate among sex researchers about how to interpret current population estimates of homosexual behavior compared to estimates reported by Kinsey and his colleagues (1948 and 1953). We discuss some possible sources or explanations for this difference (sampling, reporting, change over time). What we found, taking into consideration conceptual and definitional issues, is that the difference may not be as large as it at first seems. We also discuss our findings on the social distribution and sexual risk behavior of homosexual and bisexual men residing in the major urban centers of the U.S. and implications for strategies needed to combat the AIDS epidemic.

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