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J Homosex. 2009;56(8):1083-100. doi: 10.1080/00918360903275500.

Behavioral risk disparities in a random sample of self-identifying gay and non-gay male university students.

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Section on Society and Health, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27158-1063, USA.


This Internet-based study was designed to compare health risk behaviors of gay and non-gay university students from stratified random cross-sectional samples of undergraduate students. Mean age of the 4,167 male participants was 20.5 (+/-2.7) years. Of these, 206 (4.9%) self-identified as gay and 3,961 (95.1%) self-identified as heterosexual. After adjusting for selected characteristics and clustering within university, gay men had higher odds of reporting: multiple sexual partners; cigarette smoking; methamphetamine use; gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) use; other illicit drug use within the past 30 days and during lifetime; and intimate partner violence (IPV). Understanding the health risk behaviors of gay and heterosexual men is crucial to identifying associated factors and intervening upon them using appropriate and tailored strategies to reduce behavioral risk disparities and improve health outcomes.

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