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

disempowerment, isolation, and disintegration may be postulated as the intervening psychological mechanisms explaining the reversion to unsafe sex.

A number of important conclusions, with implications for AIDS education, can be made from these findings. First, not all AIDS education is necessarily beneficial.27 It would appear that such education may have very serious negative consequences on behavior change.?28 Second, any campaign directed at the general public also has an impact on those identified as at higher risk. The possible implications of such education on homosexually active men, intravenous drug users, and prostitutes must be carefully considered.29 Third, the evidence of this study suggests that fear as an education strategy to motivate safer sex behavior is counterproductive, with the possibility having to be faced that such campaigns, however well intentioned and market-researched among the general population, may lead to increased unsafe sex in those at higher risk and so increase the spread of HIV. Fourth, the Australian experience highlights the need for all AIDS education to be adequately behaviorally researched and tested. Where that education is targeted at specific communities, the research needs to incorporate the possible effects of such interventions on other communities in contact with the interventions.


NOTES
1.
Osborn [ 1986], p. 214.
2.
R. Baden-Powell, original transcript of Scouting for Boys, December 26, 1907-1924, February 1908, British Scouts Association Archives, quoted in Jeal [ 1989].
3.
Jeal argues that it was Baden-Powell's own prejudices, rather than the medical biases of the day, that led him to give such advice: "Such statements said more about those voicing them than the boys who were their targets. Only intense fear of sex, and of women, could have led to this concerted attempt to suppress every manifestation of sexual desire. . . . Inevitably Baden-Powell's own sexual anxieties were responsible for the intensity of his attack on masturbation. . . . Since interest in sex either seemed likely to lead boys to 'beastliness' with women or to a propensity for 'the love that dares not speak its name,' it had to be curbed and crushed by iron will-power. This was once again Baden-Powell fighting his own battle at one remove" ( Jeal, ibid., p. 107-108).
4.
J. J. Baggaley [ 1988].
5.
K. Lashley and J. Watson ( 1921), "A Psychological Study of Motion Pictures in Relation to Venereal Disease Campaigns", Social Hygiene 7:181-219, in Baggaley [ 1988].
6.
Kehoe [ 1987].
7.
Ibid.
8.
Rout, private correspondence, quoted in Kehoe [ 1987].
9.
In Berkowitz [ 1970].
10.
Baggaley [ 1988].
11.
Ibid.

-191-

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