Understanding the relationship between casual substance use and sexual risk behaviors in sexual and gender minority emerging adults

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Research has shown the heightened risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual risk behavior, and substance use in sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals. Further research is necessary to understand understudied sexual risk behaviors in a sample of casual substance users as the implications of substance use are not just experienced by individuals with substance use disorders. Many emerging adults (ages 18-29) experiment with substance use during the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the relationship with sexual risk behaviors are important to understand in this population. Data were collected online through Prolific from 75 participants between the ages of 18-29 who identified as being a SGM. Participants completed a survey in March 2020 indicating their substance use. In November 2021, participants indicated their risky sexual behaviors. A path analysis indicated that cannabis use at Time 1 was significantly associated with greater oral sex without a condom or dental dam, sex under the influence of alcohol and other substances at Time 2. Cocaine use at Time 1 was significantly associated with increased sex under the influence of alcohol and sex with a stranger. Results illustrate long-term implications of casual substance use in SGM populations and highlights understudied sexual risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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