Exploring emotional competency among men who have sex with men
AbstractBackground: Emotional dysregulation has been implicitly linked with risky sexual behaviour in some men who have sex with men (MSM). By adopting an assets-based approach to emotions, this study examines emotional competency (EC) in MSM and explores the relationship between EC and a range of sexual and socio-demographic variables. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey design recruited 2364 MSM in the UK (average age M=39.09, SD=13.5) via sociosexual media websites and smartphone apps. Socio-demographic and sexual behavioural data were collected alongside the TEIQue-SF questionnaire which assessed their EC. Univariate analyses were performed to identify any relationships between EC and sociodemographic characteristics and sexual behaviours. Findings: MSM overall reported significantly lower EC (TEIQue-SF M=3.26, SD=0.88) than the general population (M=4.95, SD=0.61) (t=49.3, p< 0.001). EC was higher for younger, single and lower educated participants, and men who never accessed the commercial gay scene. Men who reported condomless anal intercourse (CAI) in the last year, a key measure of high-risk sex, only scored significantly higher (t(2344)=-2.169, p=0.03) for the self-control facet of EC (M=21.6,SD=6.18) than men who reported no CAI (M=21,SD=6.14). However, EC was significantly lower for MSM who were more sexually active, participated in ‘chemsex’ parties, and were willing to stop using condoms in the heat of the moment. Discussion: This is the first study to link EC with risky sexual behaviour in MSM. We present a sexual behaviour change model which includes EC, and outline a novel intervention that will help MSM avoid risky sexual behaviours by increasing their EC skills.
Copyright (c) 2017 D. Strongylou, P. Flowers, L. Elliott, L. McDaid, Y. Kerr, N. Coia, J. Frankis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.