Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 950–958

Moderators of Sexual Behavior in Gay Men

Original Paper


We investigated factors that might moderate the association between sexual behavior desires and sexual behavior enactments in gay men. Condom eschewal, number of STIs, HIV serostatus, age, and relationship status were each hypothesized to moderate this association. An Internet survey collected data from 219 self-identifying gay men. Results indicated that sexual behavior desires and enactments were highly correlated, and of the five moderators tested, four varied this association. Condom eschewers had a stronger association between desires and enactments than condom users. Gay men with fewer STIs/STDs (excluding HIV) also had a stronger association between the two variables. HIV serostatus did not exclusively moderate the association. Rather, a three-way interaction was produced such that HIV-positive men with STIs had a stronger association between sexual behavior desires and enactments than HIV-negative men with STIs. Finally, gay men in monogamous relationships were least likely to have their desires associated with enactments. Age was not found to be a significant moderator. Overall, we concluded the moderators representing sexual health and sexual health behaviors were most influential over the enactment of sexual behavior desires.


Gay men Sexual enactment Sexual desire HIV STIs/STDs Condom use 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Center for AIDS Intervention ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication StudiesNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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