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Am J Mens Health. 2008 Mar;2(1):57-67. doi: 10.1177/1557988307310096. Epub 2007 Dec 5.

Sexual health and stigma in urban newspaper coverage of methamphetamine.

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School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1401, USA.


The epidemic use of methamphetamine in the United States is a growing public health problem. Recently its use has increased among gay men who live in urban areas, with accompanying increases in sexually transmitted diseases. This study examined how methamphetamine and sexual health are framed. It investigated the stigma associated with heterosexuals and gay men. Stories from 13 urban newspapers in cities with large populations of gay men published from 2000 to 2006 were analyzed. Results indicated that methamphetamine and sexual health were framed primarily as an individual, present problem. Stories framed methamphetamine as a health problem slightly more often than as a crime problem, but health was the dominant frame in stories mentioning gay men. Crime was the dominant frame in stories with heterosexuals. Articles tied gay men to sexual health issues. Findings indicate gay men and heterosexuals are stigmatized in news coverage of sexual issues and methamphetamine but in different ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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