Scott Charles Musgrove is a 2009 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara.


bareback, safe sex, reactance, masculine ideology, internalized homophobia, identity development, Zuckerman Kuhlman, Jeffrey Parsons: quantitative, Bareback Identity Scale, MAG-MSV, Male Role Norms, HIV

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Researchers in the area of HIV prevention have long been aware of the rising incidence of unprotected sex among men who have sex with men (MSM). In recent years researchers have witnessed the emergence of the behaviors, attitudes and practices that discriminate between those of the MSM community who strictly and consistently adhere to safer sex practices, those who inconsistently practice safer sex, and those who eschew protected sex altogether. Understanding the factors that motivate the development and adoption of a "barebacker identity" in spite of serious potential for HIV infection may well help support the efforts of public agencies to provide effective psycho-education and intervention efforts designed to curb HIV transmission. This quantitative study looked at factors that motivate the adoption of a "bareback identity" and hypothesized that the predominant features in the decision to bareback were innately tied to a man’s sense of autonomy regarding his sexuality, a reaction against his perceived loss of freedom in the expression of his sexuality, a weighted alignment with male role norms, and internalized impact of his beliefs about his sexuality. The use of four inventories to ascertain these factors analyzed with survey participants’ assertion of a “bareback identity” found no significant correlation.