Project SIGMA (Socio-sexual Investigations of Gay Men and Aids)

  • Project SIGMA (Socio-sexual Investigations of Gay Men and Aids)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Microfiche of anonymised diaries (only age and occupation were recorded) of sexual behaviour kept by gay and bisexual men in connection with this longitudinal survey 1987-1994, with associated documentation. The diaries were developed as a method within Project SIGMA (which was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Department of Health) to provide unique and detailed information about gay and bisexual men's sexual activity and the contexts within which it occurred. Diary keepers were asked to keep a diary on a daily basis for the period of a month, referring not only to the partner/s involved but also to the day, time and setting in which the sexual activity occurred. The data give information on the sequence in which things happened, on the roles (solo/active/passive/mutual) taken. If ejaculation occurred, its destination (in/on a partner, into a condom) was also noted. Any use of toys, "poppers", drugs etc. were recorded in the context in which they were used. Because diaries were filled out on a daily basis, recall biases were lessened.

Please note that permission to quote from this material must be sought from Project SIGMA website



Physical description

1 large box

Acquisition note

These materials were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in August 1999 by Professor Anthony Coxon of the University of Essex, who undertook this research

Related material

Project SIGMA website; Machine readable and coded version of data at the ESRC Data Archive, University of Essex

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 810