Differences in sexual health between individuals who engage in non-heteronormative versus exclusively heterosexual sexual activity
Brittany Skelding and Dr. David Speed
Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick
The current lack of research examining the sexual heath behaviours of individuals who practice non-heteronormative sexual activity (N-HET) is striking considering the marked lack of formal N-HET sexual education in North America. The current study addressed this gap by using the 2014, 2016, and 2018 cycles of the General Social Survey to explore various sexual health behaviours using logistic regressions. All analyses yielded significant results excluding knowledge of HIV with one exception: HET individuals were less likely to be aware that HIV could not be spread though kissing than N-HET individuals (p = .028, OR = .476, 95% CI [.248, .919]). A significant interaction was observed between HET and N-HET individuals and sex on the likelihood of having been tested for HIV (p = .003, OR = .357, 95% CI [.181, .704]). Specifically, N-HET men were most likely to be tested for HIV, however moving from N-HET to HET was associated with a reduced likelihood of HIV testing in males compared to females. A main effect emerged between HET and N-HET for both number of sexual partners (p < .001, OR = -.917, 95% CI [-1.186, -.649]) and engaging in casual sex (p < .001, OR = 2.224, 95% CI [1.462, 3.412], as HET individuals had fewer partners and were more likely to be in a relationship with their most recent sexual partner. These findings may aid in the identification of individuals who are at higher risk for sexually transmitted infections, allowing for further development of targeted sexual health campaigns.