A New Perspective on Sexual Mixing among MSM by Body Image

Published: November 20, 2014

PLOS ONE
Ka-Kit Leung, Horas T. H. Wong, Claire M. Naftalin, Shui Shan Lee
Original Article:  bit.ly/1vu6Qje

Abstract

Background

“Casual sex” is seldom as non-selective and random as it may sound. During each sexual encounter, people consciously and unconsciously seek their casual sex partners according to different attributes. Influential to a sexual network, research focusing on quantifying the effects of physical appearance on sexual network has been sparse.

Methods

We evaluated the application of Log odds score (LOD) to assess the mixing patterns of 326 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Hong Kong in their networking of casual sex partners by Body Image Type (BIT). This involved an analysis of 1,196 respondents-casual sex partner pairs. Seven BITs were used in the study: Bear, Chubby, Slender, Lean toned, Muscular, Average and Other.

Results

A hierarchical pattern was observed in the preference of MSM for casual sex partners by the latter’s BIT. Overall, Muscular men were most preferred, followed by Lean toned while the least preferred was Slender, as illustrated by LOD going down along the hierarchy in the same direction. Marked avoidance was found between men who self-identified as Chubby and men of Other body type (within-group-LOD: 1.25–2.89; between-group-LOD: <−1). None of the respondents reported to have networked a man who self-identified as Average for casual sex.

Conclusions

We have demonstrated the possibility of adopting a mathematical prototype to investigate the influence of BIT in a sexual network of MSM. Construction of matrix based on culture-specific BIT and cross-cultural comparisons would generate new knowledge on the mixing behaviors of MSM.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1vu6Qje

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