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'Personal communities', 'peership' and 'practice': Exploring the sexual health of young gay and bisexual men in Scotland

By Nicola Boydell and David Bingham


Recent research has suggested that gay men’s relationships with and to, gay communities are shifting over time, and that younger men in particular may have a different form of engagement with ‘gay community’ than men of previous generations. This has led some to suggest that the concept of ‘personal communities’ – friends, family members, partners, colleagues etc. important to a given individual - may offer a different way of understanding sources of support and identification among gay men (Holt, 2011). Indeed, while peer-education continues to play a key role in health promotion with gay and bisexual men, some sexual health promotion specialists working in Scotland have sought to extend conceptions of ‘peership’ within their work. This emphasises the importance of education and communication around sexual health with those who are peers not only in terms sexual orientation, but along other dimensions. \ud This interactive session aims to examine the intersections between research findings from recent qualitative research exploring the ‘personal communities’ of young gay and bisexual men (aged 18-29) living in Scotland, and current practice in sexual health promotion and HIV prevention, with reference to potential areas for future development. The session will involve the presentation of key findings from the research, examples from current health promotion practice within Scotland, and interactive activities in which participants will be invited to share their understandings and experiences of gay communities and their own ‘personal communities’, with the aim of exploring how best to address the sexual health needs of young men in Scotland

Year: 2014
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Provided by: Enlighten
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