Identities and gay men's sexual decisionmaking

Paul Flowers, Jonathan A. Smith, Paschal Sheeran, Nigel Beail

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Much of the sexual health research to date has been based around the dictates of urgency rather than rigour (Catania et al., 1990) or, as Bolton (1992, p. 128) puts it, ‘superficiality was privileged over complexity’. Because this new interest in sexual behaviour has been fuelled by public health concerns, the resulting body of knowledge has been shaped by a largely medical conception of sex. Arguably, this medical conception also extends to understanding how people make decisions around choice of partner, choice of sexual acts and decisions relating to condom use. In this manner sexual decisions are recouched in terms of health decisions. This new field can quite accurately be described as the study of ‘sexual health’ as opposed to sexual behaviour. This chapter begins to describe the problematic nature of HIV-prevention work grounded solely within the sexual health paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIDS
Subtitle of host publicationActivism and Alliances
EditorsPeter Aggleton, Peter Davis, Graham Hart
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135740696
ISBN (Print)9780748405763
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 1997


  • sexual decision-making
  • identities
  • AIDS
  • LGBTQ+


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