A Literature Review of Health Risks in the Bear Community, a Gay Subculture

Narciso Quidley-Rodriguez, Joseph P. De Santis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Gay men’s subcultural identifications may help explain why certain groups of gay men are more at risk than other groups. One such subculture is the Bear community, a group that espouses that large-framed, hirsute men are attractive. To understand current health risks among the Bear community, a literature search was conducted using Medline, Psychinfo, CINAHL, and LGBT Life. A total of eight articles were found addressing health risks in the Bear community. There is a dearth of literature that focuses on the Bear community, but the current literature indicates that Bears are more likely to have a higher body mass index, lower self-esteem, and engage in risky sexual behaviors than other gay men. Suggestions for engaging and conducting research with the Bear community are provided. Last, clinical implications offer guidance for health care providers working with the Bear community to ensure that appropriate care is delivered to these men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1679
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • MSM
  • gay
  • health disparities
  • men
  • subculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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