Generational Differences in Sexual Behaviour and Partnering Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men

Date

2019

Authors

Hunt, Giselle
Wang, Lu
Bacani, Nicanor
Card, Kiffer
Sereda, Paul
Lachowsky, Nathan J.
Roth, Eric
Hogg, Robert
Moore, David
Armstrong, Heather

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality,

Abstract

Introduction—Given that different generations of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) have been influenced by substantially different life course events and cultural contexts, we explored differences in sexual behaviour between millennials, Gen-Xers, and baby boomers. Methods—Sexually active gbMSM from Metro Vancouver, ≥16 years, were recruited using respondent-driven sampling between 2012–2015 and completed computer-assisted self-interviews every 6 months, up to 2017. To explore differences between generations (millennials born ≥1987, Gen-Xers born 1962–1986, baby boomers born <1962) we used multivariable logistic regression models using baseline, RDS-weighted data. We also examined 6-month trends, stratified by generation, in partner number, prevalence of high-risk sex, and relationship status using hierarchical mixed-effects models. Results—Among 774 gbMSM (190 millennials, 469 Gen-Xers, 115 baby boomers), median age of first anal sex with a male partner decreased from 20 (aQ1,aQ3:17,25) among baby boomers to 18 (aQ1,aQ3: 16,20) among millennials (x2 (DF=2, N=764)=12.920, p=0.002). After controlling for relevant demographics, differences were observed for some sexual behaviours (i.e., anal sex positioning, giving oral sex, sex toys, masturbation, sexual app/website use, transactional sex) but not others (i.e., receiving oral sex, rimming, fisting, watersports, group sex). At baseline, millennials reported less high-risk sex than other generations but all trended toward less high-risk sex, fewer partners, and regular partnering over the course of the study. Conclusions—While there was notable similarity across generations, millennial gbMSM reported earlier age at first anal intercourse and less high-risk sex. However, all generations trended towards less high-risk sex, fewer partners, and regular partnering over time.

Description

The authors would like to thank the Momentum Health Study participants, office staff and community advisory board, as well as our community partner agencies, Health Initiative for Men, YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society, and Positive Living Society of BC.

Keywords

Generations, longitudinal trends, men who have sex with men, respondent-driven sampling, sexual behaviour

Citation

Hunt, G., Wang, L., Bacani, N., Card, K., Sereda, P., Lachowsky, N., Roth, E., Hogg, R., Moore, D., & Armstrong, H. (2019). “Generational Differences in Sexual Behaviour and Partnering Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men.” The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 28(2), 215-225. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2019-0014