Risk-taking behaviors in adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM): An association between homophobic victimization and alcohol consumption

Evette Cordoba*, Robert Garofalo, Lisa M. Kuhns, Cynthia Pearson, Josh Bruce, D. Scott Batey, Asa Radix, Uri Belkind, Marco A. Hidalgo, Sabina Hirshfield, Rafael Garibay Rodriguez, Rebecca Schnall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study was to determine whether homophobic victimization was associated with alcohol consumption and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs among adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods Cross-sectional analysis used baseline data from a national HIV prevention trial (NCT03167606) for adolescent MSM aged 13–18 years (N = 747). Multivariable logistic regression models assessed associations between homophobic victimization (independent variable) and alcohol-related outcomes (dependent variables), controlling for age, parents’ education level, sexual orientation, health literacy, race, and ethnicity. Results Most participants (87%) reported at least one form of homophobic victimization in their lifetime, with verbal insults being the most frequently reported (82%). In the bivariate analysis, alcohol consumption and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence were associated with many forms of victimization. Exposure to at least one form of victimization was associated with increased odds of alcohol consumption (OR: 2.31; 95% CI: 1.38–3.87) and riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence (OR: 2.25; 95% CI: 1.26–4.00), after controlling for covariates. Conclusion Increased risk of alcohol consumption and risky alcohol-related behaviors were found among adolescent MSM who experienced homophobic victimization. Interventions should address homophobic victimization and its impact on adolescent MSM, as well as disentangling motivations for underage drinking, riding with an intoxicated driver or driving a car while under the influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0260083
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number12 December
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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