The Association Between Men's Concern About Demonstrating Masculine Characteristics and Their Sexual Risk Behaviors: Findings from the Dominican Republic
Fleming, Paul J., Clare Barrington, Wizdom Powell, Ann Gottert, Leonel Lerebours, Yeycy Donastorg, and Maximo O. Brito. 2018. "The Association Between Men's Concern About Demonstrating Masculine Characteristics and Their Sexual Risk Behaviors: Findings from the Dominican Republic." Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(2): 507-515.
Quantitative analyses exploring the relationship between masculinities and men's sexual risk behaviors have most commonly used one dimension of masculinities: men's gender ideology. Examining other dimensions may enhance our understanding of and ability to intervene upon this relationship. In this article, we examined the association between gender role conflict/stress (GRC/S)-men's concern about demonstrating masculine characteristics-and three different sexual risk behaviors (having two or more sex partners in the last 30 days; never/inconsistent condom use with non-steady partners; and drinking alcohol at last sex) among a sample of heterosexual men in the Dominican Republic who were participating in an HIV prevention intervention (n = 293). The GRC/S Scale we used was adapted for this specific cultural context and has 17 items (α = 0.75). We used logistic regression to assess the relationship between GRC/S and each sexual behavior, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. In adjusted models, a higher GRC/S score was significantly associated with increased odds of having two or more sex partners in the past 30 days (AOR 1.33, 95 % CI 1.01-1.74), never/inconsistent condom use with non-steady partners (AOR 1.45, 95 % CI 1.04-2.01), and drinking alcohol at last sex (AOR 1.56, 95 % CI 1.13-2.17). These results highlight the importance of expanding beyond gender ideology to understanding the influence of GRC/S on men's sexual risk behaviors. Interventions should address men's concern about demonstrating masculine characteristics to reduce the social and internalized pressure men feel to engage in sexual risk behaviors.