Social Stressors and Intoxicated Sex Among an Online Sample of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) Drawn from Seven Countries

Anna N. Chard, Nicholas S. Metheny, Patrick S. Sullivan, Rob Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Rates of drug and alcohol use are higher among men who have sex with men (MSM) than the general adult male population, and are often associated with increased sexual risk-taking. Objectives: We aim to examine the prevalence of drunk or high sex and their associations with socio-demographic characteristics, gay social network size, and social stress among an online sample of MSM drawn from seven countries. Methods: Sexually-active MSM aged over 18 residing in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, or the United States were recruited through Facebook for a quantitative survey (n = 2,403) in 2012. Two outcomes were examined via logistic regression: reporting being buzzed/drunk at last sex, and reporting being high at last sex. Results: Results highlight the role of social stressors in shaping drug use among MSM. Results were context-specific, though commonalities were seen across countries. Being in a male–male sexual relationship was associated with lower odds of being buzzed/drunk at last sex in five countries. Higher scores on measures of external homonegative discrimination and internalized homonegativity were associated with greater odds of reporting being high at last sex in three countries. Conclusions/Importance: Social networks and minority stressors can have significant effects on drug use and sex while drunk or high. This points to the importance of focusing on structural issues when designing interventions for MSM aimed at reducing the transmission of HIV and other STIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol
  • drug use
  • minority stress
  • MSM
  • social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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