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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 765–778 | Cite as

A Comparative Analysis of Homosexual Behaviors, Sex Role Preferences, and Anal Sex Proclivities in Latino and Non-Latino Men

  • William L. Jeffries IV
Original Paper

Abstract

Machismo prescribes that homosexual encounters among Latino men are conducted along highly gendered lines: men tend to be anally insertive or receptive over the lifecourse, but not both. Some have argued that Latino men have more lifecourse homosexual behaviors in comparison to other racial/ethnic groups. This is often due to the perception that Latin America has quasi-institutionalized homosexuality, which sharply contrasts it with the United States. Although scholars suggest that sex role preferences and greater likelihoods for homosexual behaviors exist among Latino men in the United States, limited empirical data validate these claims. Latino/non-Latino differences in male homosexual behaviors and sex role preferences were analyzed by using the 2002 cycle of the National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative, probability sample of 4,928 men. Findings revealed that non-Mexican Latino, but not Mexican, men had increased likelihoods of ever having anal sex than non-Latino Whites and oral sex than non-Latino Blacks. These relationships remained after controlling for age, education, and foreign birth. Latino men preferred insertive or receptive sex in comparison to non-Latino Blacks and Whites, but this difference disappeared after education was controlled. In full and reduced models, Mexican men tended to be orifice-specific (oral or anal), while non-Mexican Latinos were more oriented to both oral and anal sex. Controlling for other factors, all Latinos were more likely than non-Latino Blacks and Whites to refuse to answer male homosexual behavior questions. The implications of race/ethnicity are discussed for homosexual behavior patterns among U.S. men.

Keywords

Latinos Homosexuality Sex Roles Anal sex Oral sex 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Barbara A. Zsembik, Milagros Peña, Marvin P. Dawkins, the Editor, and three anonymous reviewers for thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this article. I also acknowledge Chuck W. Peek and Ronald H. Randles for statistical assistance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Center for Health Statistics) for making these data publicly available. This research was conducted while the author completed a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship granted by the Florida Education Fund.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral Science and Community HealthUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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