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Gay men vary in their beliefs about what constitutes sex: Comment on Sanders et al. – Misclassification bias: diversity in conceptualisations about having ‘had sex’ (Sexual Health 2010; 7: 31–4)

Martin Holt A D , Diana Bernard B and Kane Race C

A National Centre in HIV Social Research, Level 2, Webster Building, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia.

B HIV/AIDS and Related Programs (Inner West), Sydney South West Area Health Service, NSW 2050, Australia.

C Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email:

Sexual Health 7(4) 500-501
Submitted: 27 April 2010  Accepted: 10 May 2010   Published: 10 November 2010


[1]  Sanders SA Hill BJ Yarber WL Graham CA Crosby RA Milhausen RR 2010 Misclassification bias: diversity in conceptualisations about having ‘had sex’. Sex Health 7 31 4 doi:10.1071/SH09068

[2]  Sanders SA Reinisch JM 1999 Would you say you ‘had sex’ if..? JAMA 281 275 7 doi:10.1001/jama.281.3.275

[3]  Richters J Song A 1999 Australian university students agree with Clinton’s definition of sex. BMJ 318 1011 2

[4]  Bogart LM Cecil H Wagstaff DA Pinkerton SD Abramson PR 2000 Is it “sex”?: college students’ interpretations of sexual behaviour terminology. J Sex Res 37 108 16

[5]  Randall HE Byers ES 2003 What is sex? Students’ definitions of having sex, sexual partner, and unfaithful sexual behavior. Can J Hum Sex 12 87 96

[6]  Peterson ZD Muehlenhard CL 2007 What is sex and why does it matter? A motivational approach to exploring individuals’ definitions of sex. J Sex Res 44 256 68

[7]  Gute G Eshbaugh EM Wiersma J 2008 Sex for you, but not for me: discontinuity in undergraduate emerging adults’ definitions of ‘having sex’. J Sex Res 45 329 37

[8]  Bernard D , Holt M , Race K . Accounts of contemporary gay life in Sydney: summary of findings of the QUICKIE study, 2007. Sydney: National Centre in HIV Social Research; 2008.

[9]  Holt M Bernard D Race K 2010 Gay men’s perceptions of sexually transmissible infections and their experiences of diagnosis: ‘part of the way of life’ to feeling ‘dirty and ashamed’. Sex Health 7 411 16

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