Chemsex, identity processes and coping among gay and bisexual men

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2021. Chemsex, identity processes and coping among gay and bisexual men. Drugs and Alcohol Today. ISSN 1745-9265

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Abstract

Purpose: Chemsex constitutes a significant public health concern among gay and bisexual men (GBM). Using Identity Process Theory, this study focuses on GBM’s motivations for engaging in chemsex and the functions that the practice performs for constructing a positive sense of self and for coping with psychological stress.

Design/methodology/approach: Sixteen GBM were interviewed and the qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings: Individuals reported facing various stressors, such as homonegativity, rejection and HIV stigma, which were threatening for self-esteem and distinctiveness. There was habitual use of deflection (e.g., denial and self-concealment) for coping with these stressors. Chemsex enabled some interviewees to engage in more elaborate forms of deflection, such as transient depersonalization, compartmentalization and fantasy.

Originality: In contrast to the risk-focused analyses of chemsex, this study provides a novel identity-based approach to understanding GBM’s motivations for engaging in chemsex and focuses on the functions that chemsex may perform for identity processes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Drugs and Alcohol Today
Creators: Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 8 April 2021
ISSN: 1745-9265
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1108/DAT-12-2020-0083DOI
1421036Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 09 Mar 2021 12:48
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:04
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42460

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