Research on sexual minority men (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men) was examined with regard to the measures of sexual orientation used, the methods of research, and the main health outcomes under study.
We conducted a systematic review of English-language quantitative studies of the health of sexual minority men published in 2010 (n = 250).
This snapshot of the literature revealed that research on sexual minority men overwhelmingly focused on HIV, STIs, and sexual health for which sexual orientation was most commonly defined behaviorally. For topics of mental health or body/fitness outcomes, sexual orientation was most commonly defined by identity. Most study samples were venue-based, and only 8.8% of published papers drew data from population-based samples.
We identified needs for research on sexual minority men’s health that examines mental and physical health outcomes beyond sexual risk, uses probability-based samples, and addresses intersectional concerns related to race/ethnicity and age.