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A comparative demographic and sexual profile of older homosexually active men

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Our analysis draws a comparative profile of older homosexually active men. For an Australian national telephone survey (Project Male‐Call), 2,583 homosexually active men were interviewed. Questions about demographics, types of sexual partners, attachment to gay community, HIV/AIDS, and sexual practices were asked. About 10% (n = 256) of the Male‐Call men were over 49years. These older men were likely to live alone (52.7%), to be or have been married (62.9%), to have children (56.4%), and to have lived at their present address for more than five years (67.5%). Relatively few (12.4%) lived in gay areas, but a significant number (29.2%) lived in rural regions. They were generally less likely than younger men to have disclosed their sexual orientation (p < .00005). Although their attachment to gay community was quite strong, it was less than younger men's in terms of social attachment (p < .00001), cultural involvement (p < .001), and sexual involvement (p
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A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men
Author(s): Paul Van de Ven, Pamela Rodden, June Crawford and Susan Kippax
Source:
The Journal of Sex Research,
Vol. 34, No. 4 (1997), pp. 349-360
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813477
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The
Journal
of Sex Research
Vol.
34,
No.
4,
1997
pp.
349-360
A
Comparative
Demographic
and Sexual
Profile
of Older
Homosexually
Active
Men
Paul Van de
Ven
Pamela Rodden
June Crawford
Susan
Kippax
National Centre in HIV Social Research
School
of
Behavioural Sciences
Macquarie
University
Our
analysis
draws a
comparative
profile of
older
homosexually
active men. For an Australian national
telephone
sur-
vey (Project
Male-Call),
2,583
homosexually
active men were interviewed.
Questions
about
demographics, types
of
sex-
ual
partners,
attachment to
gay community,
HIVIAIDS,
and sexual
practices
were asked.
About 10%
(n
=
256)
of
the
Male-Call men
were over 49
years.
These older men were
likely
to
live alone
(52.
7%o),
to be or have been
married
(62.9%1c),
to have children
(56.4%o),
and
to have
lived
at their
present
address
for
more than
five
years
(67.5%o).
Relatively few
(12.4%)
lived
in
gay
areas,
but a
significant
number
(29.21%o)
lived
in
rural
regions. They
were
generally
less
likely
than
younger
men to have disclosed their sexual orientation
(p
<
.00005).
Although
their
attachment
to
gay community
was
quite
strong,
it was less than
younger
men's in terms
of
social
attachment
(p
<
.00001),
cultural
involvement
(p
<
.001),
and
sexual involvement
(p
<
.00005).
As a
group, they
were less
likely
to have
been tested
for
HIV
antibodies
(p
<
.0005).
Older men had as
many
male
and
female
sexual
partners
in
the
past
six
months
as
did
younger
men.
They
had
a
nar-
rower
range
of
anal
(p
<
.00005)
and oral
/tactile
(p
<
.001)
homosexual
practices,
but
differences
in oral
/tactile
reper-
toire were not
significant
after
controlling
for
other
differences
between
younger
and
older men. There
were no
significant age
differences
in rates
of
condom use
during
anal
intercourse with
regular
or casual
male
partners;
how-
ever,
the older
men
were more
likely
to have no anal
intercourse with casual
partners (p
<
.005).
We
concluded that
older
homosexually
active men are
fairly
closely
attached
to
gay
community.
They
are
sexually
active,
albeit with
a less ex-
tensive
range
of
anal
practices
than their
younger counterparts. Although they
are
generally
as
safe
in sexual
conduct
as
younger
men,
education
campaigns targeting
older men
would
benefit from
using
a
variety of metropolitan
and
rural,
mainstream and
gay
media
to
improve
safe
sex
understanding
and
encourage
HIV
antibody
testing.
ver the
past
two decades
or
so,
much has been
written about
the
sexual
identities and
behaviours
of
homosexually
active men.
The
litera-
ture
has flourished
especially
since
the advent of HIV/AIDS
and the at-
tendant
concerns
to
understand the
social,
psychological,
and behavioural
dimensions of
gay
men's lives.
Various
cohorts such
as
young gay
men,
gay
men from
language
backgrounds
other than
English,
and men who
have sex with both men and
women
have been the
focus of numerous and
detailed research studies. From a
sex-
ual
practices viewpoint,
one
group,
however,
has
been almost
entirely
neglected.
There
is
no
comprehensive
account
of
the social and sexual
lives
of
older
homosexually
active
men,
a
situation that we
sought
to
redress
by comparisons
between
younger
and older
homosexually
active men.
Specifically,
we
analysed
data from
an
Australian
nationwide
sample
to
compare
younger
and older
men's
sexual
identities,
attachments to
gay
community,
sexual
relations and
practices,
HIV
testing,
and
contact
with the
epidemic.
(Throughout
this
article,
we
refer to
gay community
rather than the
gay
community
to
reflect a
diversity
of communities
and
the fact that
gay community
is not all
of
a
piece.)
We were
interested to
see
if
older men
differed from
younger
men,
particularly
as
age
differences
might
signal
the
importance
of cul-
tural
norms
and
social
processes
in
shaping
who
homosexual
men are
and what
they
do.
As
other
researchers have
pointed
out
(Bennett
&
Thompson,
1980;
Berger,
1980;
Berger
&
Kelly,
1986;
Friend, 1987),
the
stereotype
of
the
older homosexual man
has been
one
of
disengagement
from
homosexual
community,
loneliness,
rejection,
de-
pression,
and
unhappiness.
Several
empirical
studies
have
contradicted
349
this
stereotypical
picture.
Weinberg
and Williams
(1974),
who
explored
homosexual
adaptations
in
the
United
States,
the
Netherlands,
and Den-
mark,
reported
that older
(over
45
years)
homosexual men
were
higher
on
some
measures of
psychological
well-being
than were
younger
homo-
sexual men. Their
data did not
sup-
port
the
image
of
the
older
homosexual
man
as
lacking
in
self
acceptance
or
being
anxious,
depressed, lonely,
and
unhappy.
However,
they
found
that
older homosexual
men
attended
gay
We
gratefully
acknowledge
those
who
made
the
study possible:
the
participants;
staff
and
volunteers of
various AIDS
councils
and
organisations;
and
those who
promoted,
recruited,
and
interviewed for
the
survey.
Correspondence may
be
addressed to Paul
Van
de
Ven, Ph.D.,
National
Centre in HIV
Social
Research,
School of
Behavioural Sci-
ences,
Macquarie
University,
Sydney,
NSW
2109,
Australia.
E-mail:
paul.vandeven@
mq.edu.au.
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Older
Homosexually
Active
Men
venues less
often,
were
more
likely
to live
alone,
reported
homosexual
contacts
less
frequently,
and,
in
the
United
States,
were lower
in
overall
social
involvement
in
homosexual
community
than were
younger
homo-
sexual men.
In a
later
study
involving
Aus-
tralian
men,
Bennett
and
Thompson
(1980)
found
no
evidence
that older
(over
45
years)
homosexual
men dis-
engaged,
or were forced
to
disengage,
from the
homosocial
aspects
of
gay
community.
In
comparison
with
their
younger
counterparts,
older
homo-
sexual
men
were as involved
in
the
homosexual
world,
reported
a simi-
lar incidence
of
visiting gay
venues,
perceived
their
popularity
among
other
homosexuals
to be as
high,
and
were
as satisfied
with
their sexual
orientation.
Older
men
were
less
likely
than
those who
were
26 to 35
years
old
to share
accommodation
with
lovers
and more
likely
to
live
alone.
Reflecting
a
possible
genera-
tional
difference,
the older
men were
significantly
more concerned
than the
younger
men
about
the
exposure
of
their
homosexuality.
Berger
(1980)
studied
112 homo-
sexual
men
between
the
ages
of
41
and
77. Whereas
38% of
the men
lived
alone,
the
majority
either lived with
a
sexual
partner
(43%)
or
with
friends or
members
of
their
family
of birth
(19%).
Far from
being
isolated
and re-
jected
by younger
men,
most
men
had
many
friends,
were
sexually
active,
and
sustained
close
relationships
with
friends
and sexual
partners.
Through
a
comprehensive
review
of
the
literature,
Berger
and
Kelly
(1986)
discredited
some
popular
mis-
conceptions
and
provided
a
realistic
picture
of
aspects
of
the
lives
of older
gay
men.
They
found
that few
older
gay
men were
loners.
In
fact,
older
gay
men had
more
options
in
rela-
tionships
than
did their
heterosexual
counterparts
and revealed
a
variety
of
living
arrangements
accordingly.
Older
homosexual
men
in
a
relation-
ship
were
not more
likely
to
play
a
role
along
the
lines
of the
active/pas-
mon
in
pre-liberation
times. Role
playing
in
relationships
was
highly
atypical
among younger
and
older
homosexual men alike. As a
result
of
intense social
pressures
in
the
past,
many
older
homosexual
men had
been
or
currently
were married. Con-
tinuing
sexual interest and
activity
were the norm for older homosexual
men.
Moreover,
integration
into a local
homosexual
community
was associ-
ated with
psychosocial
adaptation
for
older
gay
men.
It
has
been
suggested
that
coming
to terms with
homosexuality may
facilitate
adjusting
to the
aging
process
in a number of
ways
(Friend,
1987,
1989; Lee, 1987;
McDougall,
1993).
Successful
management
of
the
process
of
coming
out in a heterosex-
ist
world
possibly
provides
the
indi-
vidual with
coping
mechanisms that
may
generalise
to other crises
in later
life.
Gender-role
flexibility may
allow
older
homosexual men
to
develop
ways
of
taking
care
of themselves
that
feel comfortable and
appropriate.
Homosexual men
often
exchange
the
family
of birth
supports
that were lost
when
they
came
out
with
a broader
surrogate
family
and
community
network.
Other
strengths
may
include
learning
to
fend
for
oneself
from
an
early age,
increased
personal
auton-
omy,
and
learning
to live with a
stig-
matised
identity throughout
life.
These
competencies
and reconstruc-
tions
tend to
be
associated
with
healthy psychological
adaptation
by
older
gay
men
(Friend,
1989;
Mc-
Dougall,
1993).
The current
generation
of
older
homosexually
active men has
lived
through
remarkable
changes
in
per-
ceptions
and
attitudes toward homo-
sexuality,
not
least
the
breaking
of
the
"wall
of
silence"
that once
pre-
cluded
any public
discussion of homo-
sexuality (Wotherspoon,
1986).
The
past
three decades
also
have
wit-
nessed the sexual
revolution of the
1960s and
1970s,
the establishment
of
homophile
organisations
concur-
rent with
the
Stonewall
Riots
in
New York
in
1969,
the dawn of
gay
laws that restricted the emotional
and
sexual
expression
of
male homo-
sexuality,
and the
development
of
gay community.
As several
accounts
in
Wotherspoon's
(1986)
collection of
autobiographical
essays
exemplify,
these
historical events
have
pro-
duced
an
apparent generational
shift
for
gay
men
that has
made it some-
what
easier
for those
growing
up
with
homosexual desires
to
express
and
be
more
open
about their
sexual
ori-
entation.
Whereas the literature
provides
useful
insights
into some social and
psychological aspects
of older homo-
sexually
active
men's
lives,
there is a
conspicuous
lack
of
detail
about their
sexual relations
and
practices.
In
the
era of HIV
and
AIDS,
this is a
serious
omission. To
remedy
this
deficiency,
we
analysed
data collected
in 1992 as
part
of
Project
Male-Call,
an Australian
national
telephone
survey
of
men who
have sex with
men
(Kippax,
Crawford,
Rodden,
&
Benton,
1994).
A
42-page
interview schedule
was
used.
It
cov-
ered a
range
of
issues
related
to sex-
ual behaviour
(nature
of sexual
relationships,
sexual
history,
sexual
practices
with men
and with
women,
safe
sex
strategies,
attachment
to
gay
community,
degree
of contact
with the
epidemic,
HIV
test
result)
and
a num-
ber of
demographic
variables.
(Some
countries use
safe,
and
others
use
safer,
as the term
to describe
risk-re-
duction
strategies
with
reference
to
HIV
transmission,
and
the same ar-
guments
are
used for and
against
ei-
ther term.
As used
in
this
article,
it
is
Australian
policy
to refer to
safe
sex.)
Whereas
our focus was
on older
(over
49
years)
homosexually
active
men,
we realise that
people
don't
change
suddenly
at
age
50. For this
reason,
we
tested
for a number
of
developmental
changes
over five
age groups:
less than
25, 25-29,
30-39,
40-49,
and over 49
years.
However,
for
expositional pur-
poses,
we describe most results
by
talk-
ing
about older men
versus
younger
men.
Based on limited
although
fairly
consistent
previous
findings,
we test-
political activism,
alterations
to the
350
sive
dichotomy
assumed
to be com- ed a
number
of
specific hypotheses
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Van de
Ven,
Rodden, Crawford,
and
Kippax
about older
(over
49
years)
men's,
compared
with their
younger
counter-
parts',
sexual relations and
practices:
Older
men
are more
likely
to
live
alone
rather than with a sexual
partner
(Hypothesis
1).
Older
men
are more
likely
to have been or to
be married
(Hypothesis
2).
Older men are less
likely
to have disclosed their homo-
sexual orientation to others
(Hypoth-
esis
3).
Older men are as attached
to
gay community
as
younger
men
(Hy-
pothesis
4).
Older men are
likely
to
have had the same number
of
male
partners
in
the
past
six
months as
younger
men
(Hypothesis
5).
Without a
body
of evidence on older
homosexually
active
men's
sexual
practices,
we
posed
the research
ques-
tion: Do older
homosexually
active
men
engage
in
the
same sexual
prac-
tices as their
younger
counterparts
(Research
Question
1)?
In the absence
of
previous
data
pertaining specifi-
cally
to older
homosexually
active
men's
behaviours
in
relation
to HIV/
AIDS,
we also
posed
three
additional
research
questions.
Are
older homo-
sexually
active
men,
compared
with
their
younger counterparts,
as
likely
to have been tested for HIV antibod-
ies
(Research
Question
2)?
Are
older
men as
responsive
to
safe sex
cam-
paigns,
as
measured
by
condom use
with
regular
and casual male
part-
ners
(Research Question 3)?
Are
older men as
likely
to have had sim-
ilar levels of contact
with the
epi-
demic
(Research
Question
4)?
Method
Participants
The
analysis
was based
on
tele-
phone
interviews with
2,583
homo-
sexually
active
men,
of
whom
2,580
provided
age
data and thus could
be
included
in
the
analysis.
Men
were
included
in
the
survey according
to
the
criterion
that
they
had
had sex
with
at least one
other
man
during
the
five
years prior
to interview.
There is no
way
of
enumerating
the
population
of
homosexually
active
men.
Participants
were
necessarily
volunteers.
Recruitment sources
in-
cluded sections of the
organised
gay
community
(radio,
venues,
gyms,
businesses,
publications);
places
of
sexual contact
within,
outside,
and
marginal
to
organised
gay
communi-
ties
(gay
brothels,
sex
shops,
beats,
saunas);
health centres
frequented
by
gay
men;
and
pornography
outlets.
Strategies
for
contacting
potential
respondents
included standard
adver-
tising
that
emphasised
the
importance
of
research
information,
advertising
with some sexual
titillation,
cards and
fliers,
stickers and
posters,
notices
in
Personals
columns,
and
articles
and
interviews
in
the media.
Measures
The interview
schedule
(available
from the first
author)
consisted
of 42
pages
of
questions
based
on
those
used
successfully
in
the Social
Aspects
of
the Prevention of AIDS
study
and
the
follow-up
telephone survey,
Sus-
taining
Safe Sex
(Kippax,
Connell,
Dowsett,
&
Crawford,
1993).
The
schedule included
a number of demo-
graphic
variables
(age
category
as
employed
in
the
Australian
Census,
place
of
birth,
educational
level,
occu-
pation,
income
bracket,
place
of resi-
dence,
heterosexual
marriage)
and
items
used
to
construct milieu or con-
text
variables
(sexual
identity
and
disclosure;
gay community
attach-
ment as
measured
by
social attach-
ment,
cultural
involvement,
and
sexual
involvement
scales).
These
two
sets
of
variables
may
be distin-
guished
from
the other
variables of
interest
(outcome
measures),
which
included
sexual
practice,
number
of
sexual
partners,
frequency
of
sex,
condom
use,
HIV
antibody
status,
and
degree
of
contact
with the
epidemic.
Measures and
scales that are
not
self-explanatory
are described next.
For
sexual
identity,
men
were
asked if
they
thought
of
themselves
as
any
of the
following,
in
this
order:
heterosexual,
straight,
bisexual,
gay,
homosexual,
camp, queer,
other
(par-
ticipant specified),
and don't
know/
unsure. It
was common
practice
for
the men to
nominate their sexual
chance to
read
through
the
list,
indi-
cating generally
clear
senses of
sexual
identity.
Men were
asked about their
regular
and
casual male
partners.
The
use of
the
term casual
partnership
did
not
imply any
judgment
about
the
degree
of
seriousness
of
the sexual
action
between a man
and his
casual
partner,
nor of the moral
worth of
casual
as
opposed
to
regular
relationships.
It
was
meant
merely
to
denote an
occa-
sional sexual
partner
as distinct from
a
regular
or
steady
partner
in
a
com-
mitted
ongoing
relationship.
Gay
identity
disclosure was mea-
sured
with
a
seven-item scale
con-
structed from
questions
about
people
the
respondent
had told
about his
homosexual
practice
(mother, father,
other
relatives,
straight
friends,
work-
mates,
neighbours,
anyone
else).
The
range
of
possible
scores
was
0
to
7,
with a
higher
score
indicating greater
disclosure.
Cronbach's
alpha
was .82.
The mean
score
for the total
sample
was
2.85,
with a
standard deviation
of
2.25.
Social
attachment was
measured
with
a
scale
that
included
eight
items
about
the amount of
free
time
spent
with
gay
men,
number of
gay
friends,
and
where the
respondent
went
with
gay
friends
(gay
bars,
discos,
parties,
pool/beach,
meetings/organisations).
The
range
of
possible
scores was
0
to
13,
with a
higher
score
indicating
a
greater
degree
of
social
attachment
to
gay
community.
Cronbach's
alpha
was .86. The
mean score
for the
total
sample
was
7.32,
with a
standard
deviation
of 3.63.
Cultural
involvement
was mea-
sured
with a scale
that
contained
three
items:
membership
in
gay
organisations,
perception
of
belong-
ing
to
gay community,
and
readership
of
gay press.
The
range
of
possible
scores was 0
to
3,
with
a
higher
score
indicating
a
greater
cultural
involve-
ment
in
gay community.
Cronbach's
alpha
was .62. The mean
score
for
the
total
sample
was
1.86,
with
a stan-
dard deviation of
1.02.
Sexual
involvement measured de-
identity
before the
interviewer
had a
351
gree
of
immersion in
the
sexual ele-
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Older
Homosexually
Active Men
ments of
gay
community
with
a
scale
that
contained
16
items:
14
about
where
respondents
went
to look
for
male
sexual
partners (e.g.,
bars,
saunas,
cruising
areas,
sex
clubs),
1
about
the
number
of male sexual
partners
in the
past
6
months,
and
1
concerning frequency
of sex with
male casual
partners
in the
previous
month. The
range
of
possible
scores
was
14 to
35,
with a
higher
score
in-
dicating greater
sexual
involvement
in
gay community-looking
for
sexual
partners
in a
greater
range
of
sexual
sites,
having
a
greater
number of male
partners,
and
having
more
male
part-
ners
per
month.
Cronbach's
alpha
was
.80. The mean score
for the
total
sample
was
20.14,
with
a standard
deviation
of 3.91.
Contact
with
the
epidemic
was
measured
with a scale
that contained
three items:
knowing
a
person
who
is
seropositive
or
living
with
AIDS,
knowing
a
person
who has
died
follow-
ing
AIDS,
and
having
been involved
in
caring
for someone with
AIDS.
The
range
of
possible
scores
was
0 to
3,
with a
higher
score
indicating
greater
contact. Cronbach's
alpha
was
.68. The
mean score for
the total
sample
was
1.33,
with
a
standard
deviation of
1.12.
A number of
sexual
practice
indi-
cators and measures was
employed.
Data
were collected
on
the number of
male and female
partners,
the
nature
of men's sexual
relationships
(regular
or
casual),
condom
use, and,
concern-
ing
male
partners,
the
frequency
of 10
sexual
behaviours
(sensuous
touch-
ing,
kissing,
masturbation,
oral-gen-
ital sex with
and
without
semen
exchange,
finger fucking,
anal
inter-
course
with and without
ejaculation,
rimming,
and
fisting)
with
regular
and
casual
partners.
Sexual
practice
with
men was also described with
reference to Anal Practice
and
Oral/
Tactile Practice
Scales.
The Anal Practice Scale contained
eight
items about
insertive and re-
ceptive
anal
intercourse
with and
without
ejaculation, rimming,
and
fingering.
The
range
of
possible
indicating engagement
in a
larger
number of anal
practices
with male
partners.
Cronbach's
alpha
was .80.
The overall mean
score was
3.78,
with a standard
deviation
of 2.49.
The
Oral/Tactile
Practice
Scale
contained
six
items about wet and
dry
kissing,
insertive and
receptive
oral-genital
sex,
mutual masturba-
tion,
and
sensuous
touching.
The
range
of
possible
scores
was
0 to
6,
with
a
higher
score
indicating
en-
gagement
in
a
larger
number of
oral/tactile
practices
with male
part-
ners.
Cronbach's
alpha
was .85.
The
overall mean score was
5.20,
with a
standard deviation of
1.53.
Procedure
Project
Male-Call was a national
telephone
survey
of
gay
and homo-
sexually
active
men
in
Australia.
Re-
cruitment,
including
advertising,
took
place
in all
states and
territories,
all
capital
cities,
and
urban and rural
areas.
National,
regional,
and local
recruitment
strategies
were used. The
survey
was conducted so as not to co-
incide with the
major holiday periods
of Easter and
Christmas.
To
safeguard
respondents'
ano-
nymity,
attract a
wide cross-section
of
homosexually
active
men,
gener-
ate an
atmosphere
in
which the men
could
speak openly
and
honestly
about their sexual
practices
and
life
situations,
and minimise
costs,
tele-
phone
rather than
face-to-face
inter-
views
were
used.
For
May
and June
1992,
eight
008
(free
of
charge
to
caller)
telephone
lines
were
connected
at
Macquarie
University.
Trained
in-
terviewers informed callers
that
the
survey
would take
around
half to
three
quarters
of an hour and asked
the caller
if he
had
that time avail-
able at
present.
Most callers
were
in-
terviewed
immediately.
Others
chose
to call
back.
Most interviewers
were men.
Some
female
interviewers
and
one trans-
sexual
interviewer
were
also em-
ployed.
Some
participants
chose to be
interviewed
by
a
female
interviewer,
others
insisted
on
a
male
interviewer,
scores was
0 to
8,
with
a
higher
score
Male
interviewers did
not
raise the
issue of the
sex
of the
interviewer,
but female interviewers
always
asked
whether
the
caller
would
prefer
a
male
interviewer.
Results
The men
were
categorised
into one
of
five
age groups:
less
than
25,
25-29,
30-39,
40-49,
and over 49
years. (Equal
intervals
of
10
years
produced highly unequal
ns.)
Uni-
variate
differences between
the
men
in
the
different
age groups
were
in-
vestigated by Chi-square
tests
of
as-
sociation
for
categorical
variables and
by analyses
of variance
(ANOVAs)
for
numerical variables.
In
accord with
the Bonferroni
principle,
alpha
was
set at
.001
for
these
comparisons
be-
cause of
the
large
number of
statisti-
cal tests
applied
to the
data.
Where
feasible,
linear trends across the
age
groups
were tested
by
the Mantel-
Haenszel statistic
(categorical
data)
or F-ratio
for
linear trend
in ANOVA
(numerical
data).
A
multivariate
analysis
of
covariance
(MANCOVA)
was also
conducted
to
see
whether
there were
any
age
group
differences
on
the
sexual
practices
with men
scales
(Anal
Practice and Oral/Tactile
Practice)
after
controlling
for
a num-
ber
of
demographic
and milieu vari-
ables.
Demographics
There were
256 older
(over
49
years)
men in the
Male-Call
sample,
representing
just
under
10%
of
the
sample
of
2,583
men. In
each
of the
other
age
bands of
less
than
25,
25-29, 30-39,
and 40-49
years
of
age,
there
were
529,
512,
767,
and
516
men,
respectively. Compared
with Australian
Census
data,
the
sample underrepresented
men over
49
years
of
age
(Census
=
30.3%).
Moreover,
there
was
an
overrepre-
sentation of
tertiary
educated
and
professional
men
in
the
whole
sample
compared
with Australian
averages
(Kippax
et
al.,
1994).
More
than
three
quarters
of the
older
men
(fewer
than the
younger
men)
had
been born in
Australia
or
352
but
most did not
express
a
preference.
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Van de
Ven, Rodden, Crawford,
and
Kippax
New Zealand
(78.1%);
a
proportion-
ately
high
number
in
the United
Kingdom
or elsewhere
in
Europe
(19.5%);
and
relatively
few
in
other
countries
(in
Asia, Africa, Oceania,
or
North, Central,
or South
America;
2.3%).
This
represented
a
significant
difference
between the
age groups
in
country
of
birth,
X2(16
df,
n
=
2577)
=
76.27,
p
<
.00005.
Most older men were
in
paid
em-
ployment,
either full time
(37.5%),
part
time
(8.2%),
or
self-employed
(16.4%),
although
a
considerable
number
(29.7%)-more
than
for
any
age
other
group-were receiving
so-
cial
security payments
or were out of
the
workforce,
X2(24
df,
n
=
2577)
=
740.80,
p
< .00005. Older men were
about as
likely
to
have
had no
occu-
pation
(33.3%;
a
similar
proportion
to those under
25
years)
as
they
were to
have
been
employed
in man-
agerial
or
professional
occupations
(30.6%;
less than men 30-49
years);
9.5%
of
them,
less than for the
other
age groups,
were
employed
in
para-
professional
or clerical
occupations,
X2(16
df,
n
=
2567)
=
272.14,
p
<
.00005. Their
representation
in
the
other
occupational groups
of
trade/
manual and
sales/service was simi-
lar to that of their
younger
counter-
parts.
The
distribution of
older
men's in-
comes was more even than for
any
other
age
group,
X2(12
df,
n
=
2515)
=
369.09,
p
<
.00005,
with
approxi-
mately
a
quarter
of
them
falling
into
each of the four income
categories:
25.3%
(a
higher
proportion
than
all
but the under 25
years age
group)
earned
less than
$15,000
per
year,
and another 25.3% earned more
than
$40,000
(with
23 of these
men
having
earned
more than
$60,000);
21.2%
earned
$15,001-$26,000,
and
28.2%
earned
$26,001-$40,000.
(At
the
time,
US$1
was
approximately
equivalent
to
Aust$1.30.)
About
a
third
(32.8%)
of
the older
men,
more
than for the
younger
men,
had edu-
cation
up
to
Year
10
only;
about a
quarter
(23.4%)
had
completed
the
equivalent
of Year 11 or Year
12;
more than a
quarter
(27.0%)
had
Table
1
Gay
Identity
Disclosure Scale
by Age
Under
25 25-29
30-39 40-49
50 or over
n =
492 n = 479
n = 714
n
=
472 n
=
222
M 2.99 3.25 2.97 2.57 1.88
SD
2.23
2.21 2.29
2.24 1.90
F(4,
2374)
=
17.56,
p
< .00005
higher
education;
and the remainder
(16.8%)
had
some other
post-sec-
ondary
qualifications,
X2(12
df,
n
=
2575)
=
104.49,
p
<
.00005.
More than half
the
older
men
(52.7%),
a
greater
proportion
than
for
any
other
age group,
lived
alone.
Other older
men,
more so than
those
under 30
years,
lived
with
a
female
sexual
partner
(19.9%)
or
male sexual
partner
(13.7%).
Few
in
this
age group
lived
with
platonic
friends,
either
gay
or
straight,
or natal
family
members,
X2(28
df,
n
=
2578)
=
459.10,
p
<
.00005.
By
Mantel-Haenszel
test,
there was
an
increasing
trend for older
men to
live alone
(p
<
.00005),
and
corresponding
decreasing
trends for
men to live
with natal
family
members
(p
<
.00005)
or friends
(p
<
.00005),
confirming
Hypothesis
1.
Relatively
few
older men lived in
predominantly gay
areas
(12.4%),
whereas
there was an
overrepresen-
tation of
older
men in
rural
areas
(29.2%),
X2(8
df,
n
=
2548)
=
51.31,
p
<
.00005.
By
Mantel-Haenszel
test,
a
significant
trend
indicated that the
older the men
were,
the
more
likely
they
were to live in
rural areas
(p
<
.00005).
Older men were
more
likely
than
their
younger
counterparts
to be
or
have been
married
(62.9%),
x2(4 df,
n
=
2572)
=
487.96,
p
< .00005
(con-
firming Hypothesis
2).
Correspond-
ingly,
the
older
respondents
were
more
likely
to
have
children
(56.4%),
x2(4
df,
n
=
2544)
=
454.68,
p
<
.00005. Older
men were
more
likely
to
have lived at their
present
ad-
dress
for
more
than
five
years
(67.5%),
X2(16
df,
n
=
2569)
=
389.05,
p
< .00005.
Milieu
Sexual
identity
and
disclosure.
When
asked
to
describe their
sexual
identity,
60.9% of the
older men
iden-
tified as
gay
or
homosexual and
28.5%
as
bisexual,
proportions
similar to
other men
over 30
years.
Younger
men,
particularly
those under 30
years,
were more
likely
to
embrace
the term
gay
rather than
homosexual,
X2(24
df,
n
=
2577)
=
72.28,
p
<
.00005.
Only
3.9% of
the older men
identified as
heterosexual,
a
similar
proportion
to
the other
age
groups.
The older men
were
by
far the
least
likely
to
have disclosed
their homo-
sexual
orientation to
others
(see
Table
1).
By
F-ratio for
linear
trend,
there
was a
significant
decreasing
linear
trend
for
Gay
Identity
Disclo-
sure
(p
<
.000005).
Moreover,
there
was
a
significant
quadratic
relation-
ship
between
Gay
Identity
Disclosure
and
age
(p
<
.000005),
resulting
from
25- to
29-year-old
men
having
dis-
closed their
identity
more
often
than
younger
or
older men
(partly
sup-
porting
Hypothesis
3).
Gay
community
attachment. At-
tachment to
gay
community,
whether
measured
in
terms
of
social
attach-
ment,
cultural
involvement,
or sexual
involvement,
was
less for
older men
than for
younger
men
(see
Table
2).
By
F-ratio for
linear
trend,
there
were
significant
decreasing
linear
trends,
with
age,
in
social
(p
<
.000005),
cul-
tural
(p
<
.0001),
and sexual
involve-
ment
(p
<
.005)
in
gay
community.
For sexual
involvement
alone,
there
was a
significant
quadratic
relation-
ship
between
involvement and
age
(p
<
.000005),
indicating peak
sexual
involvement in
gay
community
for
those in
the
25-29
age
group
and
less
353
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Older
Homosexually
Active Men
Table 2
Gay
Community
Attachment Scales
by Age
Under 25
25-29
30-39 40-49 50 or over
Social Attachmenta
n
=
529 n
=
512
n
=
764 n
=
516
n
=
256
M
8.11
8.13 7.22
6.61 5.79
SD 3.49
3.48
3.67 3.64
3.25
Cultural
Involvementb
n
=
529 n
=
512
n
=
766 n
=
516
n
=
256
M
1.91 1.98 1.84
1.80
1.67
SD
0.98 1.04
1.02 1.04
0.96
Sexual Involvementc
n
=
510
n
=
501 n
=
746 n
=
503 n
=
245
M
19.84 20.56 20.40
20.16 19.08
SD
3.93 3.95 4.08
3.66
3.51
aF(4,
2572)
=
30.44,
p
<
.00005
bF(4,
2574)
=
4.99,
p
< .001
CF(4,
2500)
=
7.65,
p
<
.00005
involvement
for
those
in
younger
or
had cas
older
groups.
men un
When
the scores on
the
social
at-
than th
tachment
scale
were used to
divide
monoga
the
sample
into
two
groups, gay
com-
likely
t,
munity
attached
(GCA;
social attach- relatior
ment
>
4)
versus
non-gay
community
Num
attached
(NGCA;
social
attachment
sex. Not
<4),
62.9% of the older men
(signifi-
more
rr
cantly
less
than
for
younger
groups)
lifetime
were
classified as
GCA,
and 37.1%
n
=
257
were
NGCA,
Z2(4
df,
n
=
2580)
=
61.37,
there w
p
< .00005
(contrary
to
Hypothesis
4).
ences
ii
Older men were the least
likely
to
partner
have
named
the
gay
press
(11.8%)
and
intervie
cards/posters
(1.2%)
as
the
source
of
p
=
.10
4
information about the
current
survey.
most th
Conversely, they
were
the most
likely
had
eitl
to have named mainstream
papers
(44.9%)
(11.4%)
and mail order video and
ing
6 m
other
catalogues
(36.2%),
X2(44
df,
n
=
modal
r
2571)
=
158.77,
p
<
.00005. About 1
in
ual
pa
10
older
men
(10.2%)
named a local
(21.6%)
newspaper,
a rate
similar
to
men
in
partner
other
age groups.
15.7%
r
the nun
Sexual
Relations and Practices
eah
each of
Sexual relations. As shown
in
11-20,
Table
3,
about half
of
the older
men >
1000.
Table
3
Sexual Relations
at
Time
of
Interview
by
Age
(Percentages)
Partnership
Under 25 25-29 30-39
n
=
527 n
=
512
n
=
765
None 11.4 9.0 10.1
Monogamous
24.3 17.6 17.4
Regular plus
casual 15.0 20.1
20.7
Several
regular
2.5 3.5
3.5
Casual
only
46.9
49.8 48.4
x2(16
df,
n =
2575)
=
56.38,
p
< .00005
lual
sex
only. They,
as well as
der
25
years,
were more
likely
.e
other
age groups
to be
in
a
imous
relationship
and
less
o be in a
regular plus
casual
lship.
ibers
of
partners
/frequency
of
t
unexpectedly,
older men had
lale sexual
partners
in
their
than
younger
men,
X2(32
df,
73)
=
251.09,
p
<
.00005,
but
vere
no
significant age
differ-
n
the
number
of
male sexual
rs
in
the
six months
prior
to
:w,
X2(20
df,
n
=
2578)
=
28.39,
(confirming
Hypothesis
5).
Al-
iree
quarters
of
the older
men
her
1
(28.5%)
or
between
2-10
partners during
the
preced-
ionths. For the
older
men,
the
range
for
number
of
male sex-
.rtners
ever was 101-500
;
2.7% had had sex with
1
only;
and between 10.2% and
reported having
had sex
with
nber of
partners
indicated
by
the
following ranges:
2-10,
21-50,
51-100,
501-1000,
or
40-49
n
=
516
4.3
14.7
24.0
4.8
52.1
50 or over
n
=
255
7.1
21.6
16.5
6.3
48.6
In
terms of
female
partners,
42
of
the 256
older men
(16.4%)
had
never
had sex with a
woman,
whereas
50
men
(19.5%)
had
had sex
with
a sole
female
partner.
A
further 97 men
(37.9%)
had had
between
2
and
10
female
partners
ever. The
older
men
(including
those 40-49
years
of
age)
were
likely
to
have had
more
female
partners
in
their lifetime than
their
younger
counterparts, particularly
so when
compared
with those under
30
years,
X2(24
df,
n
=
2579)
=
133.42,
p
< .0005.
However,
the older
men
were
no more
or
less
likely
than the
men
in
the
younger
age
groups
to
have
had sex with a woman in
the
six
months
prior
to interview: 29.0%
of the entire
sample,
and
28.5% of the
older
men, had,
X2(16
df,
n
=
2576)
=
23.83,
p
=
.09.
Compared
with men
under
30
years,
older men
were more
likely
to
have had sex with their
regular
part-
ner 1-5
times
per
month
(39.3%
of
those with
regular
partners)
and less
likely
to
have had sex more than 15
times
(19.7%),
X2(16
df,
n
=
1157)
=
52.71,p
<.00005.
Nevertheless,
older
men
had sex as
frequently
as
those
aged
40-49
years,
with 26.5% hav-
ing
had sex 6-15
times
per
month.
There were
no
age
differences
in
the
frequency
of
sex with casual
partners,
and almost half
(48.9%)
of the older
men had sex with a
casual
partner
one
to
five times
per
month,
X2(16
df,
n
=
1947)=
11.37,
p
=
.79.
Sexual
practice.
Data were collected
on
a
range
of sexual
practices.
The
per-
centages
of older men
who
engaged
in
each sexual
practice
with
regular
and
casual
male
partners
are
given
in
"50 or
over"
columns of
Tables
4
and
5,
respectively.
Most behaviours
were
practised
more
frequently
with
regular
than with casual
partners.
Sensuous
touching,
mutual mastur-
bation,
oral-genital
sex
(without
ejaculation),
and
kissing
were the
most
common
practices.
About half
the older men
engaged
in
anal inter-
course with their
regular partners,
approximately
one third
with their
casual
partners.
When
there were
significant age-
354
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Van de
Ven, Rodden, Crawford,
and
Kippax
Table
4
Percentages
of
Men in Each
Age Group
Who
Engaged
Occasionally
or
Often
in Sexual Practices with
Regular
Male Partners in the Six
Months
Prior
to Interview
Under
25 25-29 30-39 40-49 50 or
over
X2 P
n
=
234 n
=
224 n
=
327 n
=
228 n
=
116
Sensuous
touching
98.3
98.2 99.1 98.3 99.1 1.361
.85
Deep/wet
kissing
96.6 96.9
92.0
88.6 82.8 31.857
<.00005
Dry
kissing
94.4 97.3 90.8 89.5 83.6 23.709
<.0005
Mutual
masturbation 96.1
96.9 96.0 90.8
90.5
14.815
.005
Oral-genital
no
ejaculation
Insertive
(being
sucked)
89.7
90.2 91.1 77.6 86.1 26.644
<.00005
Receptive
(sucking)
95.7
94.6 92.9 85.1
87.8
23.640
<.0005
Oral-genital
with
ejaculation
Insertive
45.9
45.1 44.9 37.7
44.8 4.216
.38
Receptive
42.3 39.3 40.0 38.2 37.1
1.255 .87
Finger
fucking
Insertive 58.5
75.9 74.8
68.4 53.4 34.245
<.00005
Receptive
65.0
73.7 71.7 58.3
46.6 35.703
<.00005
Anal intercoursea
Insertive
56.8 61.2
54.7
57.9 52.6 3.252
.52
Receptive
62.4 55.8
53.7
50.9 53.4 7.097
.13
Anal
with withdrawala
Insertive
39.5 46.0
39.0
28.9 19.0 31.471
<.00005
Receptive
43.6 41.1 37.7 26.3 18.1
34.235 <.00005
Rimming
Insertive
50.0 55.4
52.3
46.5 34.5
15.411
.004
Receptive
62.4 61.6 52.6 46.1 32.8 38.471
<.00005
Fisting
Insertive
7.7 10.3
7.4
7.9 4.3 3.942 .41
Receptive
10.3 7.6 8.0 8.8 6.9
1.682 .79
aWith
or without condoms
Table
5
Percentages
of
Men
in Each
Age Group
Who
Engaged
Occasionally
or
Often
in Sexual Practices with Casual Male Partners
in the Six Months Prior
to Interview
Sensuous
touching
Deep/wet
kissing
Dry
kissing
Mutual masturbation
Oral-genital
no
ejaculation
Insertive
(being
sucked)
Receptive (sucking)
Oral-genital
with
ejaculation
Insertive
Receptive
Finger
fucking
Insertive
Receptive
Anal intercoursea
Insertive
Receptive
Anal with withdrawala
Insertive
Receptive
Rimming
Insertive
Receptive
Fisting
Insertive
Receptive
Under
25
n
=
364
96.4
87.0
86.2
92.3
92.3
90.9
46.0
30.7
61.6
65.7
43.1
45.3
32.7
31.3
40.7
56.4
8.3
8.8
25-29
n
=
394
96.2
84.4
82.4
94.1
88.8
92.6
38.5
24.7
63.3
62.2
46.2
36.3
33.8
30.6
40.4
54.1
10.5
8.7
30-39
n
=
560
96.4
77.8
76.5
94.4
89.6
89.4
40.4
23.3
60.6
61.1
44.7
34.5
24.9
22.0
37.6
52.3
10.9
7.9
40-49
n
=
401
95.5
71.6
75.1
94.3
81.0
82.3
36.2
21.2
58.9
55.1
40.6
32.9
20.9
19.2
27.9
40.4
8.0
5.2
50 or over
n
=
171
95.3
71.5
68.6
87.8
78.5
75.6
51.7
25.6
48.8
48.8
32.0
33.9
14.5
12.9
26.2
36.0
3.5
2.3
xz
p
0.867
40.730
30.349
11.196
37.141
47.556
16.818
10.161
11.362
18.782
11.690
15.950
37.826
37.785
26.016
37.621
.93
<.00005
<.00005
.02
<.00005
<.00005
.002
.04
.02
<.001
.02
.003
<.00005
<.00005
<.00005
<.00005
10.684
11.594
.03
.02
aWith or without condoms
355
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Older
Homosexually
Active
Men
related differences
for
particular
sexual
practices,
the older
men were
generally
the
least
likely,
or
among
those least
likely,
to have
engaged
in
the
practice.
Several differences be-
tween the
age groups emerged
in
sex-
ual
practices
with
regular partners
(see
Table
4).
Older
men were
the least
likely
to have
engaged
in
insertive
and
receptive
anal
intercourse with
withdrawal.
They
were also the least
likely
to
have
engaged
in
wet and
dry
kissing,
to have
engaged
in
receptive
rimming,
and to have had insertive
and
receptive finger fucking.
Like
their
40-
to
49-year-old
counterparts,
older men were less
likely
to have
had insertive and
receptive oral-gen-
ital sex
(without
ejaculation)
than
men under the
age
of 40.
By
Mantel-Haenszel
test,
there was
a
decreasing
linear
trend with
age
for
most sexual
practices
with
regular
partners:
wet
(p
<
.00005)
and
dry
kissing (p
<
.00005);
mutual mastur-
bation
(p
<
.005);
insertive
(p
<
.005)
and
receptive
(p
<
.001)
oral-genital
sex without
ejaculation;
receptive
fin-
ger fucking (p
<
.001);
receptive
anal
intercourse
(p
<
.05);
insertive
(p
<
.00005)
and
receptive (p
<
.00005)
anal
intercourse with
withdrawal;
and
in-
sertive
(p
<
.01)
and
receptive (p
<
.00005)
rimming.
With casual
partners,
the
older men
were less
likely
to
have
had insertive
and
receptive
anal intercourse with
withdrawal,
to
have
engaged
in
dry
kissing,
to
have
had
insertive
and
receptive oral-genital
sex without
ejac-
ulation,
and to have
engaged
in
re-
ceptive rimming
and
receptive finger
fucking. Together
with the men
aged
40-49
years, they
were
less
likely
than
younger
men to have
engaged
in
wet
kissing
and insertive
rimming
(see
Table
5).
By
Mantel-Haenszel
test,
there
was
a
decreasing
linear
trend with
age
for
most sexual
practices
with casual
partners:
wet
(p
<
.00005)
and
dry
kissing (p
<
.00005);
insertive
(p
<
.00005)
and
receptive (p
<
.00005)
oral-genital
sex without
ejaculation;
receptive
oral-genital
sex
with
ejacu-
lation
(p
<
.05);
insertive
(p
<
.01)
and
Table
6
Sexual Practice Scales
by Age
Under 25
25-29 30-39
40-49 50 or over
Anala
n
=
529 n
=
512
n
=
767
n
=
515
n
=
256
M 4.00
4.25 3.83
3.48 2.83
SD
2.50
2.54
2.50 2.38
2.26
OraVTactileb
n
=
529
n
=
512 n
=
767
n
=
516
n
=
256
M
5.30 5.39 5.10
5.16 4.95
SD 1.54 1.40 1.68
1.38
1.56
aF(4,
2574)
=
17.22,
p
<
.00005
bF(4,
2575)
=
5.24,
p
<
.001
Table 7
Mode
of
Anal Intercourse
by
Age (Percentages)
Partner
and
Mode
Under
25
25-29
30-39 40-49 50
or over
With
Regular
Partnersa n
=
190 n
=
183
n
=
252 n
=
178 n
=
84
Insertive
only
12.6
18.0 18.3 27.0 19.0
Receptive
only
17.4
10.4
13.9 16.9 21.4
Both
70.0 71.6 67.9
56.2
59.5
With
Casual
Partnersb
n
=
238 n
=
248 n
=
341 n
=
241
n
=
90
Insertive
only
17.2
27.8 31.1
34.9 31.1
Receptive
only
18.5 10.1 14.4
19.5
25.6
Both
64.3 62.1
54.5 45.6
43.3
With
Either
Regular
or
Casual Partnersc n
=
373 n
=
366 n
=
517 n
=
360 n
=
156
Insertive
only
14.5 20.5
25.0 30.8
25.6
Receptive
only
16.6 9.0 13.2
16.4 22.4
Both
68.9 70.5
61.9 52.8
51.9
Note:
Only
includes men
who
engaged
in anal int
aX2(8
df,
n
=
887)
=
20.96,
p
=
.007
bX2(8
df,
n
=
1158)
=
40.77,
p
<
.00005
CX2(8
df,
n
=
1772)
=
55.15,
p
<
.00005
receptive (p
<
.00005)
finger fucking;
insertive
(p
<
.05)
and
receptive
(p
<
.001)
anal
intercourse;
insertive
(p
<
.00005)
and
receptive
(p
<
.00005)
anal
intercourse with
withdrawal;
insertive
(p
<
.00005)
and
receptive
(p
<
.00005)
rimming;
and
receptive fisting
(p
<
.005).
There
were no
increasing
linear
trends
for
any
sexual
practices
with
either
regular
or casual
partners.
There
was confirmation of
these
patterns
of
sexual
experience
on
scales
that
measured the
range
of
specific
sexual
practices
with male
partners.
The older men
had the lowest scores
on both the Anal
Practice and Oral/
Tactile Practice
scales
(see
Table
6).
By
F-ratio for
linear
trend,
there was
a
decreasing
trend
with
age
for both
Anal
(p
<
.000005)
and
Oral/Tactile
Practices
(p
<
.0005).
In
the
case
of
Anal
Practice,
there also
was a
sig-
nificant
quadratic
relationship (p
<
.0001)
that indicated a
peak
range
of
anal
practices
for
25-
to
29-year-old
men and
fewer
anal
practices
for
younger
or
older
men.
Mode
of
anal
intercourse. Of the
older
men,
156
(60.9%)
had had anal
intercourse
during
the 6 months
prior
to
interview:
84
(32.8%)
with
regular partners
and 90
(35.2%)
with
casual
partners.
Of
the
men
who en-
gaged
in
anal
intercourse,
some
age
differences
were found for mode of
intercourse
(see
Table
7).
With
regular
partners,
there were
no
significant
differences between the
age groups.
With casual
partners,
older
men were
the most
likely
to have
had
receptive
intercourse
exclusively;
those under
25
years
were the
least
likely
to
have
356
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Van
de
Ven, Rodden,
Crawford,
and
Kippax
had insertive intercourse
exclusively;
those over 40
years
were less
likely
than
younger
men to
have had both
insertive
and
receptive
intercourse.
This
pattern
of men
over
40
years
being
less
likely
to
have
had both in-
sertive and
receptive
intercourse was
duplicated
when intercourse with
both
regular
and casual
partners
was
taken into account.
Condom use. To answer Research
Question
3,
we examined
condom
use
with
regular
and
casual
partners.
With
regular partners,
there were
no
significant
age group
differences
(after
Bonferroni
adjustment)
in con-
dom
use
during
anal intercourse
(see
Table
8).
Of those who had anal
in-
tercourse with
regular
partners,
more
than
40%
of the
younger
and older
men sometimes
did not use condoms.
In
the case of casual
partners,
there
were
significant
differences between
the
age groups.
Older
men
were
sig-
nificantly
more
likely
than the
younger
men
to exclude anal
inter-
course from their sexual
repertoire
with casual
partners.
However,
for
younger
and older men who had anal
intercourse with casual
partners,
there
were
no
significant
differences
(after
Bonferroni
adjustment)
between
age
groups
in
condom use.
Test status and contact with the
epidemic.
Older men were the least
likely
to have been tested
for
HIV
antibodies,
X2(4
df,
n
=
2576)
=
30.70,
p
< .00005
(answering
Research
Ques-
tion
2 in
the
negative).
There
were
eight HIV-positive
older
men,
a small-
er
proportion
than
for
the
age groups
between 25 and
49
(see
Table
9).
Contact
with the
epidemic
(the
sub-
ject
of
Research
Question
4)
varied
significantly
with
age;
however,
the
older
men
generally
had
a similar
degree
of contact to the
other men
over 25
years
(see
Table
10).
The older
men's Contact with the
Epidemic
Scale score
of 1.30 indicated moder-
ate involvement
with
people living
with
HIV/AIDS.
By
F-ratio
for
trend,
there was
a
significant quadratic
re-
lationship
between
Contact with the
Epidemic
and
age (p
<
.000005),
re-
flecting
the
fact that contact increased
Table 8
Anal Intercourse and
Condom Use with
Regular
and Casual Male
Partners
by Age
(Percentages)
Partner and Practice
Regular
Partnersa
No anal
intercourse
Always
condom
Sometimes
unprotected
Under
25
n
=
232
18.1
45.3
36.6
25-29
n
=
223
17.9
43.0
39.0
30-39
n
=
329
23.4
36.5
40.1
Only
Those Who Had Anal
Intercourse with
Regular
Partnersb
n
=
190 n
=
183 n
=
252
Always
condom 55.3 52.5 47.6
Sometimes
unprotected
44.7 47.5 52.4
Casual Partnersc
No anal intercourse
Always
condom
Sometimes
unprotected
n
=
370
35.7
45.7
18.6
n
=
395
35.2
49.9
12.9
n
=
578
41.0
43.3
15.7
Only
Those Who Had
Anal
Intercourse
with
Casual Partnersd
n
=
238 n
=
248
n
=
341
Always
condom 71.0
79.4 73.3
Sometimes
unprotected
29.0 20.6
26.7
aX2(8
df,
n
=
1130)
=
20.47,
p
=
.009
bx2(4
df,
n
=
887)
=
13.51,
p
=
.009
cX2(8
df,
n
=
1960)
=
28.32,
p
< .0005
dx2(4
df,
n
=
1158)
=
10.91,
p
=
.03
40-49
n
=
229
22.3
32.3
45.4
n
=
178
41.6
58.4
n
=
428
43.7
43.7
12.6
n
=
241
77.6
22.4
50 or over
n
=
117
28.2
25.6
46.2
n
=
84
35.7
64.3
n
=
189
52.4
30.7
16.9
n
=
90
64.4
35.6
Table
9
HIV
Status
by
Age (Percentages)
Test Status
Under
25 25-29
30-39
40-49
50
or over
n
=
529
n
=
512
n
=
767
n
=
516
n
=
256
No test 25.7 22.9
21.9 27.9
36.3
Negative
70.5
68.4 70.7 64.0
60.5
Positive
3.8 8.8 7.4 8.1
3.1
X2(8
df,
n =
2580)
=
40.12,
p
< .00005
Table
10
Contact with
the
Epidemic
Scale
by Age
Under 25 25-29
30-39 40-49
50 or over
n
=
529
n
=
512 n
=
767 n
=
516 n
=
256
M
1.06 1.38 1.47
1.36
1.30
SD 1.09 1.13
1.12 1.12
1.14
F(4,
2575)
=
11.17,
p
<
.00005
sharply
up
to the 30-39
age
group
and thereafter declined
slightly
with
increasing age.
Multivariate
Perspective
Our
findings
that anal and oral/tac-
tile
practices
declined
with
age
were
new.
To answer
our first
research
question
about older men's sexual
practices,
it was
important
to
know
whether these differences could be
explained by
the
other differences that
were
observed between
younger
and
older men.
Thus,
a
multivariate
analy-
sis of covariance
(MANCOVA)
was
conducted on the
Anal Practice and
Oral/Tactile Practice scales to
inves-
tigate
whether there were
any age
group
differences
in
range
of
sexual
practices
after
adjustment
for
other
variables.
Age
and
region
were
treated
as factors
alongside
the
following
co-
variates: social
attachment,
cultural
involvement,
occupation,
living
situ-
ation,
length
of
time at current
ad-
dress,
country
of
birth,
marital
status,
sexual
identity,
and
antibody
status.
There was no
significant
age
x
region
interaction, F(16,
5018)
=
0.82,
p
=
.66.
After
adjustment
for all
covariates,
357
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Older
Homosexually
Active
Men
including region,
the
analysis
yielded
significant
age-related
differences
in
the scales
of sexual
practice,
F(8,
5018)
=
4.46,
p
< .00005
(Pillai's
cri-
terion).
Confirming
our
univariate
results,
differences on the
Anal
Prac-
tices Scale
were
significant,
F(4,
2509)
=
6.68,
p
<
.00005.
However,
there were
no
significant
differences
on the
Oral/Tactile
Practices
Scale
after
adjustment
for the
covariates,
F(4,
2509)
=
1.43,
p
=
.22.
Discussion
Using
data from
an Australian
nationwide
telephone
survey (Project
Male-Call:
Kippax
et
al.,
1994),
we set
out
to
develop
a
profile
of
older
(over
49
years)
homosexually
active
men.
Our
focus was
on the
neglected
area
of
such older
men's sexual
practices
and features
that
differentiate
older
men from their
younger
counterparts.
Based
on limited
although
fairly
consistent
past
findings
(Bennett
&
Thompson,
1980;
Berger
&
Kelly,
1986;
Weinberg
&
Williams,
1974),
we
gen-
erated
five
hypotheses
about older
men's
living
arrangements, gay
com-
munity
involvement,
and sexual
prac-
tices.
In the absence
of
previous
data,
we
also
posed
three research
ques-
tions
about
older
men's
sexual
prac-
tices
and their
testing,
responses,
and
contact
in relation
to
HIV/AIDS.
In contrast
with the
younger
men,
the
older
men in the
sample
were
more
ethnically
homogeneous
and,
as is to
be
expected,
more
likely
to be
out
of the workforce.
Comparatively,
older
men were
more stable
in
terms
of residence.
They
tended
not
to
live
in
predominantly
gay
areas,
whereas
they
were
overrepresented
in rural
areas.
Consistent
with
Hypothesis
1
and earlier
Australian
and interna-
tional
data
(Bennett
&
Thompson,
1980;
Weinberg
&
Williams, 1974),
older
men were more
likely
to
live
alone
than
with a male
sexual
part-
ner,
although
more older than
younger
men
lived with
a female sexual
part-
ner.
In
line with
Hypothesis
2,
older
men were more
likely
to be or have
been
married.
Correspondingly,
and
were
more
likely
to have children.
These
findings
are
in
accord
with
earlier
evidence
reported
by Berger
and
Kelly
(1986)
and Lee
(1987).
Older men differed somewhat
from
younger
men
in terms of self-defined
sexual
identity,
with
older men more
likely
to describe
themselves as
homo-
sexual
rather than
gay.
Moreover,
and
largely
consonant with
Hypoth-
esis 3 and the
findings
of Bennett
and
Thompson
(1980),
older men were
less
likely
to
have
disclosed
their
sexual orientation
to
others.
It would
appear
that the more
open
and
sup-
portive
post-Stonewall
climate
facili-
tates
younger gay
men's
divulging
their sexual
identity
to a broad
range
of
family
members, friends,
work col-
leagues,
and
acquaintances,
particu-
larly
after the
age
of 25.
This
accords
with
the
generational changes
exem-
plified
in
various accounts
by
gay
men in
Wotherspoon's
(1986)
collec-
tion
of
autobiographies.
Contrary
to
Hypothesis
4
and some
previous
findings
(Bennett
&
Thomp-
son,
1980),
older
men's attachment
to
gay
community
(measured
in terms
of social
attachment,
cultural involve-
ment,
or sexual
involvement)
was
less
than
for their
younger counterparts.
These
results,
though,
are
partly
in
line with
Weinberg
and
Williams'
(1974)
finding
that older homosexual
men
were
lower
in
overall
social
in-
volvement
than
younger
homosexual
men.
Nonetheless,
the data indicated
that most older
men maintained
mod-
erately strong
social
links with
gay
community,
a
finding
that
augurs
well
for their
psychosocial
adaptation
in
older
age (Berger
&
Kelly,
1986).
Consistent
with
Hypothesis
5 and
previous
evidence
(Berger,
1980),
older
men
had
as
many
different
male
part-
ners in a six-month
period
as
younger
men. For
approximately
half of
the
older
group,
these
partnerships
were
casual encounters
exclusively.
About
one
in
five older men was
in a
monog-
amous
regular relationship,
and as
many
older men were
in
regular
relationships
that did not
preclude
liaisons with other
male sexual
part-
partners
in a six-month
period
as
younger
men.
We
turn now to our
first
research
question
that asked
if
older homo-
sexually
active
men
engage
in the
same sexual
practices
as their
younger
counterparts.
Some older men
engaged
in an
extensive
range
of sexual
prac-
tices with
regular
and casual
male
partners,
but as
a
group
older men
tended
to
engage
in
the
practices
less
frequently
than their
younger
coun-
terparts.
For most sexual
practices,
a
fairly
consistent
pattern
indicated
a
decreasing
linear trend
in
frequency
with
age.
The
finding
that this
trend
applied
to most
practices
is
important.
It
suggests
a
general
downward
trend
for a
whole
range
of
sexual
practices
rather than
practice
substitution with
age.
Older men as
a
group
scored
sig-
nificantly
lower than
younger
men
in
terms
of
extent
of
anal
and oral/tac-
tile sexual
repertoire.
Differences
be-
tween the
age groups
in
range
of oral/
tactile
practices
were not
significant
after
controlling
for
demographic
and milieu factors.
Separate
analyses
revealed that differences
in
oral/tac-
tile
practices
were
largely
accounted
for
by
levels
of
gay
community
in-
volvement,
with men
not
attached to
gay
community
less
likely
to
have an
extensive oral/tactile
repertoire.
How-
ever,
differences
in anal
practices
were
actually
age
based
and could
not
be attributed
to other factors
such as
region
of
residence
or
degree
of attach-
ment to
gay
community.
This raises
the
interesting
possibility
that the
anal
practice
difference
may
be
genera-
tional,
a
product
of the cultural climate
in
which
the men were
socialised.
Proportionately,
older men
engaged
in
more
anal intercourse with
regu-
lar than casual
partners.
However,
regardless
of
partner type,
older
men
who
routinely
engaged
in
anal
inter-
course
were as
likely
to be the
in-
sertive as the
receptive partner.
A
majority
of
the older
men who en-
gaged
in
anal
intercourse were versa-
tile
with
regular partners, switching
between insertive
and
receptive
roles.
ners. Older men had as
many
female
358
perhaps
because
of
a
time
factor,
they
This corroborates earlier evidence
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Van de
Ven, Rodden,
Crawford,
and
Kippax
documented
by Berger
and
Kelly
(1986).
Only
about
one
in
five
older
men
who
engaged
in
anal
intercourse
in a
regular
relationship
was
exclu-
sively
insertive
and a similar
propor-
tion
exclusively
receptive.
In
contrast
with
regular
partners,
fewer older
men
were
versatile,
and more of
them
were
exclusively
insertive or
receptive
with
their
casual
partners.
When
anal
intercourse with
both
types
of
partners
(either
regular
or
casual)
was taken
into
account,
older
men
(including
those in
the 40-49
age
group)
were
significantly
less
likely
than
younger
men
to have
engaged
in
both
insertive and
receptive
inter-
course.
Engagement
in
both modes
of
anal
intercourse
was much
more
usual
for men
under 30
years.
Turning
to our
three
research
ques-
tions
connected
with
HIV/AIDS,
are
older
homosexual
men
as
likely
as
their
younger
counterparts
to have
been
tested
for
HIV,
as
responsive
to
safe
sex
campaigns
(as
assessed
by
condom
use),
and
as close
to the HIV
epidemic?
Older men
were
signifi-
cantly
less
likely
to
have
been
tested
for
HIV
antibodies.
Regardless,
of
the
men who
engaged
in
anal
intercourse,
older
men
were no
less
likely
than
younger
men
always
to
use
condoms
during
anal
intercourse
with
their
regular
or
casual
partners.
In
the
case
of
casual
partnerships,
there
was a
conspicuous
difference
between the
age
groups,
with
more
than
half
the
older
men
not
engaging
in
anal
inter-
course with
their
casual
male
part-
ners. This
may
be
due
to
a
number
of
factors,
such
as
the
availability
of
condoms
(if
condoms are
less
available
to older
men in
rural
areas),
economic
constraints
(if
older
men are
paying
for
sex
more often
than
younger
men
-anal
being
more
expensive
than
oral
sex),
and
sites
of
sexual
activity
(if
older men
are
having
more
sex in
public
places,
making
anal
intercourse
less
possible).
On
the
other
hand,
this
finding
may
point
to
a
possible
age
difference
in
response
to
safe
sex
campaigns.
One
interpretation
is
that
older
men
erroneously
perceived
casual
sexual
encounters
as
inherently
less
safe.
An
alternate
explanation
is
that
a
smaller
proportion
of
the
older
men,
belonging
to
the
pre-AIDS
generation,
were
comfortable
with
and
adept
at
using
condoms. If
either
of
these
latter
possibilities
is
correct,
it
would
indi-
cate
that
safe
sex
campaigns,
which
are
often
targeted
explicitly
or
im-
plicitly-the
latter
by
virtue
of
their
media
and
youthful
iconography-at
younger gay
men,
are
not
having
as
much
impact
among
older
homosexu-
ally
active
men.
Further
work
is
need-
ed to
unpack
the
reasons
behind
older
men's
less
frequent
engagement
in
anal
intercourse
with
casual
partners.
In
terms
of
having
known
people
who
died
following
AIDS
and
having
known
or
having
cared
for
seroposi-
tive
people,
older
men
had
similar
levels
of
contact
with
the
epidemic
as
the
men in
the 25-29
and
40-49
age
brackets.
The
youngest
men
have
had
least
and
the
30- to
39-year-old
men
greatest
contact with
the
epidemic.
An
important
consideration is
to
be
heeded
in
the
interpretation
and
generalisation
of
our
findings:
The
sample
was
not and
could
not
be
drawn
randomly.
The
Project
Male-
Call
men
were
recruited
through
di-
verse
sources
and
included men
from
widely
different
regional, social,
and
ethnic
backgrounds.
Nevertheless,
the
representativeness
of
the
sample
to
the
total
population
of
homosexually
active
Australian
men
is
not
known
because
of the
lack
of
a
sampling
frame for
this
group.
There is
a
possi-
bility
that
the
sample
was
more
rep-
resentative
of
the
better
informed
and
motivated
segment
of
the
homo-
sexual
population
and
more
repre-
sentative
of men
affiliated
with
gay
community.
Certainly,
compared
with
Australian
Census
data,
the
sample
underrepresented
older
men
and
over-
represented
tertiary
educated
and
professionally
employed
men.
Repli-
cation of
our
findings
from a
house-
hold-based
sampling
frame
would
be
useful.
Such
replication
is
important,
as
there
may
be
older
homosexually
active men
who
are
socially
isolated,
have few
community
or
cultural
sup-
ports,
and
have
not
accommodated
well
to
the
aging process,
and
whose
needs
should not
be
diminished.
Despite
the
sampling
limitations,
the
Project
Male-Call
data
and
the
findings presented
here
paint
an
in-
teresting
picture
of
older
Australian
homosexually
active
men.
Our
find-
ings
are
generally
in
agreement
with
the
limited
previous
research
evidence
concerning
older
homosexual
men.
As
a
group,
older
homosexually
active
men
are
sexually motivated,
have
opportunities
to
satisfy
sexual
desires,
and
are
involved
in
gay
community.
They
are
committed to a
homosexual
orientation,
although they
are
more
likely
than
post-Stonewall
genera-
tions to
have
accommodated
to
pre-
vailing
heterosexist
ideology
through
limited
disclosure
of
their
sexual
identity
and
through
straight
mar-
riage
and
family
life.
This
analysis
points
to
some
spe-
cific
issues
for
safe
sex
campaigns
aimed
at
older
homosexually
active
men.
In
the
HIV/AIDS
era,
older
men
are
more
likely
than
their
younger
counterparts
to
have
no
anal
inter-
course
rather
than
condom-protected
anal
intercourse
with
casual
part-
ners.
Such
a
strategy
(be
it
deliberate
or
otherwise)
is
quite
safe
so
long
as
it
is
sustainable.
Almost
half
the
older
men
sometimes
do
not
use
condoms
for
anal
intercourse
with
regular
male
partners.
This
may
or
may
not
be
a
problem,
depending
on
whether
the
men know
their
HIV
status
and
have
negotiated
a
reliable
agreement
about
safe
sex
outside
their
partnership.
In
the
absence
of
HIV
antibody
testing-
a
more
common
characteristic
of
the
older
men-such
sexual
negotiation
to
exclude
HIV
from
the
relationship
is
meaningless.
It
is
therefore
impor-
tant
to
extend
existing
campaigns
to
improve
older
men's
safe
sex
under-
standings
and
to
encourage
HIV
anti-
body
testing.
Given
that
older
men
were
more
likely
to
have
been
recruit-
ed
through
the
mainstream
rather
than
gay
press,
those
running
gay
men's
education
programs
would
be
advised
to
use a
variety
of
media,
metropolitan
and
rural,
and
not
just
359
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Older
Homosexually
Active
Men
gay
avenues,
to
ensure that
all
con-
stituents are
reached.
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... Similarly, also in a U.S. sample, Bell and Weinberg (1978) reported that married homosexual men had significantly fewer children in their first marriage compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Other studies have estimated that homosexual men reproduce at about 1/5-1/10 the rate of heterosexual men (Moran, 1972;Yankelovich Partners, 1994;Ven et al., 1997). King et al. (2005), asked 1061 consecutive male attenders to two central London clinics for sexually transmitted infections (STI) to complete anonymous questionnaires about their attractions and their family's size. ...
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Same-sex attraction is associated with a direct reproductive cost, i.e., a reduced number of biological children. The current study aimed to assess this cost for different forms of sexual attraction (i.e., only attracted to opposite sex, mostly attracted to opposite sex, equally attracted to both sexes, mostly attracted to same-sex, only attracted to same-sex), using two large nationally representative datasets (N = 15,208) from the USA. The results indicated that same-sex attraction was associated with substantial loss in direct reproductive output. More specifically, significant differences between the different types of same-sex attraction were found: Exclusive and mostly homosexual orientation identities were associated with the highest direct reproductive cost, while mostly attracted to opposite sex orientation and bisexuality identities were associated with lower direct reproductive costs. In addition, bisexual women did not differ significantly from exclusively heterosexual women in terms of their reproductive output. The implications of these findings for the evolutionary origins of same-sex attraction are further discussed.
... The total number of expected sexual partners that may form during the simulated year was gamma distributed (shape=0.5, scale=10), 23,24 while the total number of sex acts per partnership followed a Poisson distribution (lambda=81). 25 ...