A National Institute of Health-backed study at Johns Hopkins University is investigating the “meaning and function” of first “penetrative same-sex sexual experiences” among young African American men.
“Little is known about the meaning and function of first same-sex experience in [African-American] AA adolescent men and whether satisfaction with first penetrative same-sex experience impacts sexual trajectories,” a grant for the project, which began in 2012, states.
The idea is to look at the guys’ first experiences and see how they affect subsequent sexual experiences, focusing on “health and health protective behaviors.”
But our favorite part has to be the acronym that researchers gave to “penetrative same-sex sexual experiences.”
“The research phase of the award is to explore the reasons for and satisfaction with first and subsequent penetrative same-sex sexual experiences (PSSE) and to examine the role of first PSSE on second and subsequent PSSEs in AA men (Study 1) and how social context impacts sexual satisfaction with first PSSE,” the grant said, because with gay men, it’s all about that PSSE.
The study has made the rounds of conservative media as a gasket-popping news item to the effect of the Federal Government is spending over 400k on studying gay men’s sexual satisfaction! Big government is outrageous!
But really, a 4-year study at 400k is a drop in the bucket, and the research does have lofty goals:
“AA [men who have sex with men] MSM struggle with a sexual identity that is stigmatized in their communities, along with discrimination, and racism,” the grant continues. “As a result, first romantic and sexual experiences are likely to differ from other adolescent groups in ways that make them particularly vulnerable to HIV.”