STUDY: ” HIV-RELATED SEXUAL RISK BEHAVIOR WAS RELATIVELY RARE” IN GAY MALE PARENTS
Is the agenda of the “Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society” geared towards a healthy society?
Is the anti-gay political agenda ignoring the peer-reviewed science below?
The impact of parenting on gay male couples’ relationships, sexuality, and HIV risk.
Huebner, David M.; Mandic, Carmen Gómez; Mackaronis, Julia E.; Beougher, Sean C.; Hoff, Colleen C.
Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 1(2), Jun 2012, 106-119. doi: 10.1037/a0028687
Parenthood changes couples’ relationships across multiple domains, generally decreasing relationship quality, sexual satisfaction, and sexual frequency. Emerging research suggests that gay couples who are parenting might experience similar challenges. However, such changes might have even more profound implications for gay couples’ health, and in particular their HIV risk, given the somewhat different ways in which they negotiate and tolerate sexual behaviors with outside partners. We aimed to examine these issues in a qualitative analysis of interviews from 48 gay male couples who were actively parenting children. Findings suggest that parenthood increases men’s commitment to their primary relationship while simultaneously decreasing time and energy for relationship maintenance, and generally decreasing sexual satisfaction. These challenges alone did not generally result in greater infidelity or HIV risk, as most men reported successfully coping with such changes through a combination of acceptance and revaluing what is important in their relationships. In addition, couples reported negotiating agreements regarding sex with outside partners that closely resemble those documented in studies of gay couples who are not parents. Men reported that parenthood typically decreased their opportunities to engage in sex with outside partners, but also posed barriers to talking about these behaviors with their partners and health-care providers. HIV-related sexual risk behavior was relatively rare, but nevertheless present in some men. Providers should assess sexual function as a regular part of their work with gay couples who parent, and facilitate opportunities for men to discuss their sexual agreements, both with their primary partners and with relevant health-care providers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)