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Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have higher substance use prevalences than general population samples – often attributed to stigmatisation of sexual minority identities. We examined how influential public health research on substance use among GBM interprets this behaviour and what GBM-specific identities emerge through the discourses employed.
Expert discourses position GBM who use drugs as deficient and socially irresponsible. Gay communities are problematised as promoting avoidance coping through drug use. Counterdiscourses relativise drug use, focusing on self-determination and pleasure. In discussing GBM's drug use scholars must take care to avoid ‘othering’ discourses.
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