AIDS and the perception of risk in college women: An inquiry into the effectiveness of AIDS education
Health Sciences, Public Health.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCurrent AIDS information surveys are designed to evaluate an individual's degree of AIDS-related knowledge. These surveys are conducted in a forced-choice Likert format. Because rates of sexually transmitted diseases are increasing, (and by inference, therefore, so is AIDS), the author contends that testing "knowledge" is an inaccurate method in assessing sexual behavior. This study, which involves two-hour long, open-ended interviews with twenty-five college women, displays that their level of AIDS knowledge has little bearing on their sexual activity. Rather, peer group norms and values of sexual exchange influenced their sexual decision-making process. The women utilized several "voices" when discussing feelings of sexuality to negotiate coexisting dominant cultural ideals. This study explores student's sense of personal vulnerability, blame, responsibility and perceived necessity to adopt safer sexual practices.
Degree ProgramGraduate College