Sexual Health Sexual Health Society
Publishing on sexual health from the widest perspective
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Homosexual experience and recent homosexual encounters: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships

Andrew E. Grulich A I , Richard O. de Visser B , Paul B. Badcock C D , Anthony M. A. Smith C H , Wendy Heywood C , Juliet Richters E , Chris Rissel F and Judy M. Simpson G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The Kirby Institute, Wallace Wurth Building, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

B School of Psychology, Pevensey 1, University of Sussex, Falmer BN1 9QH, UK.

C Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia.

D Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, 35 Poplar Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia.

E School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

F Sydney School of Public Health, Charles Perkins Centre (D17), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

G Sydney School of Public Health, Edward Ford Building (A27), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

H Deceased.

I Corresponding author. Email: agrulich@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Sexual Health 11(5) 439-450 https://doi.org/10.1071/SH14122
Submitted: 25 June 2014  Accepted: 20 September 2014   Published: 7 November 2014

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study is to describe homosexual experience and characteristics of recent homosexual encounters among Australian adults and identify changes between 2001–02 and 2012–13. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 20 094 men and women aged 16–69 years and the participation rate among eligible people was 66.2%. Respondents indicated the number of same-sex partners they had had in their lifetime and in the last 12 months. Those who reported any homosexual experience were asked the age at which this first occurred and about characteristics of the first and most recent homosexual encounter. Results: Reporting ever having same-sex experience was more common in women (13.5%) than in men (6.5%, P < 0.001). Among these people, men reported more lifetime and recent same-sex partners than women (P < 0.001). Same-sex experience was associated with some but not all indices of higher socioeconomic status. In men, it was associated with living in a major city (P = 0.02) and in women, it was associated with younger (<30 years) age and with very low income (P < 0.001). Men were younger than women at their first homosexual encounter (P = 0.005). Women were more likely than men to have their first same-sex encounter with a regular partner. For women but not men, there was a significant increase in the proportion reporting same-sex experience since 2001–02. Conclusion: Same-sex experience is not uncommon and is increasing in prevalence in young Australian women. The high number of same-sex partners among homosexual and bisexual men places them at greater risk of sexually transmissible infection.


References

[1]  Grulich AE, Kaldor JM. Trends in HIV incidence in homosexual men in developed countries. Sex Health 2008; 5 113–8.
Trends in HIV incidence in homosexual men in developed countries.CrossRef | 18588775PubMed |

[2]  van Griensven F, de Lind van Wijngaarden JW, Baral S, Grulich A. The global epidemic of HIV infection among men who have sex with men. Curr Opin HIV AIDS 2009; 4 300–7.
The global epidemic of HIV infection among men who have sex with men.CrossRef | 19532068PubMed |

[3]  Zablotska IB, Kippax S, Grulich A, Holt M, Prestage G. Behavioural surveillance among gay men in Australia: methods, findings and policy implications for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections. Sex Health 2011; 8 272–9.
Behavioural surveillance among gay men in Australia: methods, findings and policy implications for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections.CrossRef | 21851766PubMed |

[4]  Prestage G, Mao L, Fogarty A, Van de Ven P, Kippax S, Crawford J, et al How has the sexual behaviour of gay men changed since the onset of AIDS: 1986–2003. Aust N Z J Public Health 2005; 29 530–5.
How has the sexual behaviour of gay men changed since the onset of AIDS: 1986–2003.CrossRef | 16370050PubMed |

[5]  Pollack LM, Osmond DH, Paul JP, Catania JA. Evaluation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV behavioral surveillance of men who have sex with men: sampling issues. Sex Transm Dis 2005; 32 581–9.
Evaluation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV behavioral surveillance of men who have sex with men: sampling issues.CrossRef | 16118608PubMed |

[6]  Mercer CH, Tanton C, Prah P, Erens B, Sonnenberg P, Clifton S, et al Changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles in Britain through the life course and over time: findings from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal). Lancet 2013; 382 1781–94.
Changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles in Britain through the life course and over time: findings from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal).CrossRef | 24286784PubMed |

[7]  King M, Bartlett A. What same sex civil partnerships may mean for health. J Epidemiol Community Health 2006; 60 188–91.
What same sex civil partnerships may mean for health.CrossRef | 16476745PubMed |

[8]  Grulich AE, de Visser RO, Smith AM, Rissel CE, Richters J. Sex in Australia: homosexual experience and recent homosexual encounters. Aust N Z J Public Health 2003; 27 155–63.
Sex in Australia: homosexual experience and recent homosexual encounters.CrossRef | 14696706PubMed |

[9]  Johnson AM, Mercer CH, Erens B, Copas AJ, McManus S, Wellings K, et al Sexual behaviour in Britain: partnerships, practices, and HIV risk behaviours. Lancet 2001; 358 1835–42.
Sexual behaviour in Britain: partnerships, practices, and HIV risk behaviours.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD3MjgtVCmtw%3D%3D&md5=1e3b40ecde11ae45c30d7d4426b17ab3CAS | 11741621PubMed |

[10]  Bajos N, Wadsworth J, Ducot B, Johnson AM, Le Pont F, Wellings K, et al Sexual behaviour and HIV epidemiology: comparative analysis in France and Britain. The ACSF Group. AIDS 1995; 9 735–44.
Sexual behaviour and HIV epidemiology: comparative analysis in France and Britain. The ACSF Group.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK28%2FjsFagtQ%3D%3D&md5=15be46908e02d092481db9ae80154ed8CAS | 7546419PubMed |

[11]  Laumann EO, Gagnon JH, Michael RT, Michaels S. The social organization of sexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1994.

[12]  Mercer CH, Fenton KA, Copas AJ, Wellings K, Erens B, McManus S, et al Increasing prevalence of male homosexual partnerships and practices in Britain 1990–2000: evidence from national probability surveys. AIDS 2004; 18 1453–8.
Increasing prevalence of male homosexual partnerships and practices in Britain 1990–2000: evidence from national probability surveys.CrossRef | 15199322PubMed |

[13]  Copas AJ, Wellings K, Erens B, Mercer CH, McManus S, Fenton KA, et al The accuracy of reported sensitive sexual behaviour in Britain: exploring the extent of change 1990–2000. Sex Transm Infect 2002; 78 26–30.
The accuracy of reported sensitive sexual behaviour in Britain: exploring the extent of change 1990–2000.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD387mtlWjug%3D%3D&md5=70b5af8f619e8798f8adff4831bd884bCAS | 11872855PubMed |

[14]  Xu F, Sternberg MR, Markowitz LE. Men who have sex with men in the United States: demographic and behavioral characteristics and prevalence of HIV and HSV–2 infection: results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2006. Sex Transm Dis 2010; 37 399–405.
| 20473245PubMed |

[15]  Chandra A, Mosher WD, Copen C, Sionean C. Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: data from the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth. Natl Health Stat Report 2011; 36 1–36.
| 21560887PubMed |

[16]  Caceres CF, Konda K, Segura ER, Lyerla R. Epidemiology of male same–sex behaviour and associated sexual health indicators in low– and middle–income countries: 2003–2007 estimates. Sex Transm Infect 2008; 84 i49–56.
Epidemiology of male same–sex behaviour and associated sexual health indicators in low– and middle–income countries: 2003–2007 estimates.CrossRef | 18647866PubMed |

[17]  Glick SN, Morris M, Foxman B, Aral SO, Manhart LE, Holmes KK, et al A comparison of sexual behavior patterns among men who have sex with men and heterosexual men and women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2012; 60 83–90.
A comparison of sexual behavior patterns among men who have sex with men and heterosexual men and women.CrossRef | 22522237PubMed |

[18]  de Visser RO, Smith AM, Rissel CE, Richters J, Grulich AE. Sex in Australia: heterosexual experience and recent heterosexual encounters among a representative sample of adults. Aust N Z J Public Health 2003; 27 146–54.
Sex in Australia: heterosexual experience and recent heterosexual encounters among a representative sample of adults.CrossRef | 14696705PubMed |

[19]  Richters J, Altman D, Badcock PB, Smith AMA, de Visser RO, Grulich AE, et al Sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual experience: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships. Sex Health 2014; 11 451–60.
Sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual experience: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships.CrossRef |

[20]  Richters J, Badcock PB, Simpson JM, Shellard D, Rissel C, de Visser RO, et al Design and methods of the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships. Sex Health 2014; 11 383–96.
Design and methods of the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships.CrossRef |

[21]  Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC). Measuring remoteness: accessibility/remoteness index of Australia (ARIA). Canberra: DoHA; 2001.

[22]  Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia, 2009–2010. Catalogue No. 6530.0. Canberra: ABS; 2011.

[23]  Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Australian standard classification of occupations, 2nd edn. Catalogue No. 1220.0. Canberra: ABS; 1997.

[24]  StataCorp. Stata statistical software: release 11.2. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP; 2009.

[25]  Layte RD, McGee HP, Quail A, Rundle K, Cousins G, Donnelly CD, et al. The Irish study of sexual health and relationships. Main report. Dublin: Crisis Pregnancy Agency, and Department of Health and Children (DOHC); 2006.

[26]  Smith AMA, Rissel CE, Richters J, Grulich AE, de Visser RO. Sex in Australia: the rationale and methods of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships. Aust N Z J Public Health 2003; 27 106–17.
Sex in Australia: the rationale and methods of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships.CrossRef |

[27]  Rissel C, Badcock PB, Smith AMA, Richters J, de Visser RO, Grulich AE, et al Heterosexual experience and recent heterosexual encounters among Australian adults: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships. Sex Health 2014; 11 416–26.
Heterosexual experience and recent heterosexual encounters among Australian adults: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships.CrossRef |

[28]  Prestage G, Drielsma P. Indicators of male bisexual activity in semimetropolitan New South Wales: implications for HIV prevention strategies. Aust N Z J Public Health 1996; 20 386–92.
Indicators of male bisexual activity in semimetropolitan New South Wales: implications for HIV prevention strategies.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK2s%2FmsFaitw%3D%3D&md5=176346dc2027cfe4d72c4045ae32ad8aCAS | 8908762PubMed |

[29]  Madeddu D, Grulich A, Richters J, Ferris J, Grierson J, Smith A, et al Estimating population distribution and HIV prevalence among homosexual and bisexual men. Sex Health 2006; 3 37–43.
Estimating population distribution and HIV prevalence among homosexual and bisexual men.CrossRef | 16607973PubMed |



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (13)

View Altmetrics