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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
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

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. Misclassification bias: diversity in conceptualisations about having ‘had sex’. Sex Health 2010; 7 31–4.
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[2] Sanders SA,  Reinisch JM. Would you say you ‘had sex’ if..? JAMA 1999; 281 275–7.
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[3] Richters J,  Song A. Australian university students agree with Clinton’s definition of sex. BMJ 1999; 318 1011–2.
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[4] Bogart LM,  Cecil H,  Wagstaff DA,  Pinkerton SD,  Abramson PR. Is it “sex”?: college students’ interpretations of sexual behaviour terminology. J Sex Res 2000; 37 108–16.
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[5] Randall HE,  Byers ES. What is sex? Students’ definitions of having sex, sexual partner, and unfaithful sexual behavior. Can J Hum Sex 2003; 12 87–96.

[6] Peterson ZD,  Muehlenhard CL. What is sex and why does it matter? A motivational approach to exploring individuals’ definitions of sex. J Sex Res 2007; 44 256–68.
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[7] Gute G,  Eshbaugh EM,  Wiersma J. Sex for you, but not for me: discontinuity in undergraduate emerging adults’ definitions of ‘having sex’. J Sex Res 2008; 45 329–37.
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[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. 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 2010; 7 411–16.
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