Sex and sexual orientation: the effect of group membership on individuals’ judgements about self and others’ HIV risk.

Eamonn Ferguson, Jamie Frankis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

No previous study has directly compared homosexual and heterosexual men and women's perceptions of HIV risk. In fact, empirical research focusing on homosexual women's perception of HIV risk is scarce. This paper, therefore, examines whether homosexual and heterosexual women and men (N = 60) make varied self and other (peer and non-peer) HIV risk judgments. The paper also examines the roles of motivational (health anxiety) and cognitive (HIV knowledge) factors in relation to HIV risk judgments. The results show that each group held different perceptions of risk for various “other” groups. Only homosexual men showed evidence for an optimistic bias, whereas homosexual women showed evidence of realistic perceptions. Both cognitive and motivational factors were shown to be associated with risk judgments for homosexual women and heterosexual men. Methodologically the use of Multidimensional scaling as an analytic strategy is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-143
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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Keywords

  • sexuality
  • HIV
  • risk perception
  • optimism
  • realism
  • multi-dimensional scaling

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