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Researchers now recruiting for new study of Chicago-area bisexual men
2019-01-29

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January, 2019 Chicago, IL- Researchers are now recruiting Chicago-area bisexual men for new study, the Men's Daily Experiences Study ( MeDES ).

Led by Dr. Wendy Bostwick of UIC's College of Nursing and Dr. Brian Dodge of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, the purpose of MeDES is to learn more about bisexual men's lives, including the unique challenges they face that may contribute to health concerns and disparities. In particular, researchers are interested in how stressors associated with sexual identity, race/ethnicity and gender may impact bisexual men's health and wellness. Bostwick and Dodge, both of whom have been doing health research among bisexual populations for more than a decade, emphasized the need to know more about bisexual men's health specifically.

"Bisexual people, especially bisexual men, continue to be largely invisible in health research and in the culture more broadly, like in the media, with the possible exception of discussions of sexual risk behavior", said Bostwick. "Yet we know that people's health and well-being is more complex and multi-faceted than simply who they are having sex with. We are interested in examining the unique health issues of bisexual men, with a focus on mental health. And we are especially interested social and cultural factors, such as experiences of discrimination, may affect health for these men."

The MeDES research team aims to recruit 100 bisexual-identified men ( cisgender and transgender ) in the Chicago area, particularly Black, Latino, and other racially and ethnically diverse men. Participants will complete daily electronic surveys, which will measure things like mood, microaggressions, alcohol and tobacco use, and physical health. The study will assess risk factors for poor health, as well as positive and protective influences in bisexual men's lives.

Dodge notes, "So often in health research, bisexual men are combined with gay men, making differences between the two groups invisible. Yet we know from a number of newer studies that bisexual men, and bisexual men of color specifically, face unique experiences that may contribute to their health. Unfortunately, they also often report poorer health and health outcomes than other men. Until we have a better understanding of bisexual men's life experiences and how such experiences influence things like mental and physical health for these men, we are not able to provide programs and services that meet their specific needs."

Sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, MeDES is a companion study to the Women's Daily Experiences Study ( WoDES ), which focused on racially and ethnically diverse bisexual women. Once MeDES is complete, the plan is to combine the studies to create a data set which will be one of the most diverse community-based samples specifically focused on bisexual-identified people's health.

For more information about how to participate in the study, please visit the screening page: mens-estudy.tumblr.com . For additional information about the study, please contact Dr. Wendy Bostwick at wbostw1@uic.edu, or through the study's email mens.estudy@gmail.com .

—From a press release


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