Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Jeffrey T. Parsons

Committee Members

Vita Rabinowitz

Sarit Golub

Subject Categories

Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology


Male sex workers (MSWs) have often been portrayed as vectors of disease although most published studies have reported high rates of condom use with clients in this population. Regardless, social psychological models of sexual behavior that have been widely utilized to examine sexual risk taking in the gay and bisexual male community have not been applied to research with MSWs. Further, sexual behaviors with casual sex partners among MSWs has been absent in most reported research. More recently, the rise of barebacking (unprotected anal sex) in the gay male community has challenged assumptions that most gay and bisexual men want to have protected anal sex which form the basis of the majority of previous sexual behavior research in this population. The theory of reasoned action (TRA) has been suggested as well suited to examine barebacking; however, this model may require adaptation. Within the TRA, behavioral intentions are theorized to mediate the relationship of peer norms and attitudes for behaviors, and are directed toward what Ajzen and Fishbein frame as "reasonable behaviors." Examination of barebacking behavior may require inclusion of other factors as temptation to engage in unprotected anal sex. A sample of 50 Internet based MSWs were recruited in NYC for the present study. Results indicate that temptation for barebacking is the most significant predictor of barebacking when examined alongside intentions for barebacking and condom use self-efficacy. Attitudes toward barebacking were mediated by temptation across partner types (client or casual) and unprotected anal sex position (insertive or receptive). Peer norms were not predictive of behavior, however did bear a significant relationship to attitudes toward barebacking regardless of partner type or sexual position. As a result, a new theoretical model is proposed for future research: Norms-Attitudes-Temptation-Behavior (NATR).


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.