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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Concordance between monetary and sexual delay discounting in men who have sex with men

Jeb Jones A D , Jodie L. Guest A C , Patrick S. Sullivan A , Michael R. Kramer A , Samuel M. Jenness A and Jessica M. Sales B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322.

B Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322.

C Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, Emory University, 1648 Pierce Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.

D Corresponding author. Email: jeb.jones@emory.edu

Sexual Health - https://doi.org/10.1071/SH17111
Submitted: 27 June 2017  Accepted: 15 September 2017   Published online: 7 December 2017

Abstract

Background: Delay discounting has been found to be associated with numerous health-related outcomes, including risky sexual behaviour. To date, it is unclear whether delay discounting measured in different domains is associated within individuals. The goal of this study was to assess the concordance of monetary and sexual delay discounting in men who have sex with men. Methods: Participants completed an online survey, including the Monetary Choice Questionnaire and the Sexual Discounting Task. Linear regression models were used to assess the association between monetary and sexual discount rates. Results: Sexual discount rates did not predict monetary discount rates. There was a substantial amount of clustering of sexual discount rates, requiring sexual discounting data to be categorised. Conclusions: Monetary and sexual delay discounting are distinct processes that are not necessarily associated within individuals, and monetary delay discounting is not an appropriate proxy measure for sexual impulsivity. Data from the Sexual Discounting Task are typically rank-transformed for analysis. These data suggest that this might be an invalid method of analysis. Future studies should investigate the distribution of their data to determine if it is appropriate to analyse sexual discounting data as a continuous measure.

Additional keywords: sexual risk, HIV.


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