Date of Award

Fall 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Heather A Turner


Unprotected anal intercourse among gay men remains high, despite the well-known fact that HIV/AIDS still disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM). This qualitative, exploratory study seeks to understand the meanings and motivations of gay men's condom use and non-use. I observed three organizations that center on gay identities in the spring and fall of 2010 and in the spring of 2011. Additionally, using a semi-structured format, I interviewed 19 gay or bisexual men between the ages of 19 and 39. Condom non-use was high; 16 men reported not using a condom in their sexually active lifetime. Three different types of condom users were identified: the intentional user, the stepwise user, and the occasional user. Using a condom during anal intercourse, which public health institutions promote, was often contradictory to the meaning gay men held about the physical act.