The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): Male Homosexuality among Arabic-Speaking Internet Users in the Middle East—2010


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Abstract

IntroductionThe prevalence of male homosexuality is difficult to elicit considering the sensitivity of one's sexual orientation. The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS) is an online epidemiologic study of male and female sexuality. The online nature of GOSS allows more confidentiality and wider geographic reach, particularly important in investigating sexual issues within the more conservative societies.AimThis study aims to determine the prevalence of male homosexuality among Internet users in the Arabic-speaking Middle East and the unique characteristics of this subset of the population.Main Outcome MeasuresPrevalence of male homosexuality.MethodsIn the year 2010, GOSS was offered to Arabic-speaking web surfers above 18 years of age in the Middle East. Potential participants were invited via advertising on Facebook®. Invitations were dispatched randomly with the exception of geographic region and age, regardless web surfing preferences. GOSS relied in part on validated questionnaires such as the International Index of Erectile Function, as well on other nonvalidated questions.Results17.1% reported desire toward the same sex, of whom 5.6% had homosexual encounters, mostly in the form of external stimulation rather than intercourse, and exclusively undercover. An overwhelming majority was ego-dystonic (78.2%).ConclusionThis is—to our knowledge—the first online survey to address the prevalence of homosexual orientation and practice in the Middle East, discriminating desire from practice, ego-syntonic from ego-dystonic, and investigating the pattern of practice. Homosexual desire is present in the Middle East as it is around the world, and homosexual encounters are as prevalent. Yet, the undercover and ego-dystonic states prevail. Shaeer O and Shaeer K. The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): Male homosexuality among Arabic-speaking Internet users in the Middle East—2010. J Sex Med 2014;11:2414–2420.

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