Representation of stigma in Craigslist men for men sex ads Open Access

Vansia, Dhrutika (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/xd07gt24p?locale=en
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Abstract

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the United States and are increasingly using the Internet to look for sex partners. Previous research on online sex seeking indicate encounters initiated online are associated with engaging in risky behaviors. Studies have shown that experience of stigma has been linked to risky sex. In this paper we examine how stigma, conceptualized as reported biases and preferences, is represented in sex ads placed in the "men seeking men" section of Craigslist.

Methods: Data were collected from ads on the "men seeking men" section of the Craigslist sites from the 11 of the 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the United States. Data were collected consecutively over 11 days (one city per day) from the first 200 ads listed before 2.30pm in each city's time zone. Three categories of variables were collected: 1) self-reported general characteristics of the authors 2) reporting of biases in the ad 3) reporting of preferences for sexual partners in the ad.

Results: Reporting of biases and preferences varied significantly by city and author's characteristics, suggesting geographic, social and cultural variations in how biases against and preferences for sexual partners are represented.

Conclusion: Biases and preferences were rarely reported in the ads, however ads that did varied by city and author characteristic. The study suggests that there are elements of stigma in seeking sex partners within the MSM community.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter I - Introduction.......................................................................... 1
Chapter II - Manuscript........................................................................... 10
Abstract.................................................................................................. 13
Methods.................................................................................................. 17
Results................................................................................................... 19
Sample Characteristics.............................................................................. 19
Biases and preferences.............................................................................. 21
Variations in biases and preferences by city.................................................. 22
Variations in biases and preferences by sample characteristics......................... 23
Discussion............................................................................................... 27
Conclusion............................................................................................... 30
References............................................................................................... 31
Tables..................................................................................................... 35
Chapter III - Public Health Recommendations............................................... 53
HIV and STD interventions that can be delivered online................................... 53
Reducing stigma among young MSM through educational entertainment.............. 55
Screening online posts to restrict reports of biases and preferences................... 56
References............................................................................................. 58

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