Male Homosexual Behavior and the Effects of AIDS Education: A Study of Behavior and Safer Sex in New Zealand and South Australia

By B. R. Simon Rosser | Go to book overview
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However, it does suggest that models of people having unsafe sex that stereotype them as more unhealthy, sick, or unstable are inappropriate.


CONCLUSIONS

At least four implications for future AIDS prevention campaigns can be drawn from the study. First, as measured using the General Health Questionnaire, no evidence was found that unsafe sex was significantly related to poorer mental health. Casting unsafe sexual activity within a mental health model or deviant behavior model mays therefore be inappropriate. Second, rather than stressing safer sex as a single goal or stressing only one way to have safer sex -- for example, everyone must avoid anal intercourse -- it appears important to stress different ways of avoiding infection or transmission with HIV, as the evidence suggests that the option(s) people select is (are) related to different personality traits or style. Emphasis on only one option would appear likely to alienate a sizable proportion of the population. Third, education campaigns that rely on emotional impact to encourage safer sex may influence the number of people in monogamous relationships but are less likely to influence condom-using behavior or avoidance of anal intercourse, as these appear less differentiated by emotion.

Finally, social factors, especially the acceptance of homosexuality in society, would appear to affect whether homosexually active men continue to have unsafe sex and the value attached to anal intercourse and condom use. In anti-homosexual societies, the US appear to be those reflecting traditional "macho" stereotypes. In more accepting societies, this appears to disappear and the US are differentiated instead by their lack of assertiveness. Educating homosexual men in sexuality and in assertiveness would thus appear key goals in assisting men to adopt safer sex.


NOTES
1
Ned Rohem, in Rutledge [ 1988], p. 116.
2
Eysenck [ 1978]; Eysenck & Wilson [ 1979]; Giese & Schmidt [ 1948]. One of these studies was specifically on heterosexuals; the other two were on non-sexually defined populations.
3
That is, that extroverts tend to have higher libido than introverts and high scorers in neuroticism are likely to report greater dissatisfaction than low scorers.
4
Watts & Wilson [ 1945].
5
Hart [ 1977], p. 143.
7
Hooker [ 1964].
8
Oriel [ 1982].

-131-

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