Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

In this study we investigate the social representations of risky sexual practices. Specifically, we analyse the circumstances in which young Spanish people consider a sexual practice as risky, and how such ‘representations’ of risk have implications for decisions about using condoms. We use the Grid Elaboration Method to gather the naturalistic thoughts and feelings of 175 young people regarding risky sexual practices and performed a lexical analysis of the content of the responses using Iramuteq software. Our analyses suggested two main textual universes regarding risky sexual practices. The first of these, at a theoretical-informative level, is clearly linked to the discourse of experts, where condom use is a key factor and risk is distanced from the self. The second, at a practical-applied level, represents risky sexual practices in a context that is linked to the unknown and a lack of control due to the use of substances or the spontaneity of the sexual encounter. We conclude that understandings of risk emerge from various sources of information, values, or social conventions that articulate everyday understandings and are likely to guide sexual practices, some of which are far removed from expert risk knowledge. We therefore understand representations of risk in sexual relations as situated within a social context. We conclude by discussing the substantive, theoretical, and practical consequences of this social construction of risk.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Whilst, we are not arguing that in certain circumstances individuals with experiences of mental ill-health may need access to extra services and protections, using risk framings as a method to challenge public stigma is highly problematic (101). Specifically, a recurrent theme in the literature on health and stigma, is that collective practices which attribute risk to a particular group (i.e., individuals with mental illness) often is concomitant with discursive practices that Other the afflicted group (25,162,163). Indeed, groups which are constructed by the lay public as "at-risk, " are also often materially and symbolically believed to threaten the social order (25,162). ...
Article
Full-text available
Using a knowledge-attitudes-behavior practice (KABP) paradigm, professionals have focused on educating the public in biomedical explanations of mental illness. Especially in high-income countries, it is now common for education-based campaigns to also include some form of social contact and to be tailored to key groups. However, and despite over 20 years of high-profile national campaigns (e.g., Time to Change in England; Beyond Blue in Australia), examinations suggest that the public continue to Other those with experiences of mental ill-health. Furthermore, evaluations of anti-stigma programs are found to have weak- to no significant long-term effects, and serious concerns have been raised over their possible unintended consequences. Accordingly, this article critically re-engages with the literature. We evidence that there have been systematic issues in problem conceptualization. Namely, the KABP paradigm does not respond to the multiple forms of knowledge embodied in every life, often outside conscious awareness. Furthermore, we highlight how a singular focus on addressing the public's perceived deficits in professionalized forms of knowledge has sustained public practices which divide between “us” and “them.” In addition, we show that practitioners have not fully appreciated the social processes which Other individuals with experiences of mental illness, nor how these processes motivate the public to maintain distance from those perceived to embody this devalued form of social identity. Lastly, we suggest methodological tools which would allow public health professionals to fully explore these identity-related social processes. Whilst some readers may be frustrated by the lack of clear solutions provided in this paper, given the serious unintended consequences of anti-stigma campaigns, we caution against making simplified statements on how to correct public health campaigns. Instead, this review should be seen as a call to action. We hope that by fully exploring these processes, we can develop new interventions rooted in the ways the public make sense of mental health and illness.
... 8,9 This is especially problematic because truckers often engage recurrently with these persons due to their stability in the area, increasing pseudo-security that can lead to unprotected sex and increased risk for disease spread. 10,11 Empirical evidence corroborates the importance of key social network properties in increased infection risk and spread. [12][13][14] Common network properties in the study of disease spread include multiplexity (having multiple types of relationships with the same person), 15 assortative (connecting with someone based on similar characteristics) and disassortative mixing (connecting with someone who is different in some way), 16 concurrency (having multiple overlapping connections within the same network), 17 and bridging (being the connection point between 2 otherwise unconnected people in a network). ...
Article
Objective: Using mixed methods, we explored properties of long-haul truckers' social networks potentially influencing STI/BBI acquisition and transmission. Methods: We recruited inner-city drug and sex network members (N = 88) for interviews. Blood and urine samples and vaginal swabs were collected to test for STIs/BBIs. Data were collected on participants' role in the network (trucker, sex worker, or intermediary), sexual and substance-use behaviors, and dyadic relationships with drug and/or sex contacts. We analyzed network data using UCINET. Results: Data revealed 2 major network clusters (58 male truckers, 6 male intermediaries, and 24 female sex workers; 27.3% STI/BBI positive). Overall, 18.8% of network members had more than one type of risky relationship with the same person (multiplexity), 11.4% of dyads were between 2 STI/ BBI positive people (assortative mixing), 36.4% were between one STI/BBI positive person and one negative person (disassortative mixing), 44.3% of people were connected to more than one person who was STI/BBI positive (concurrency), and 62.5% of nodes were just one path removed from an STI/BBI positive individual (bridging). Conclusion: Despite only 27.3% of the network being STI/BBI positive, our results revealed network characteristics (and potential intervention points) that amplify risk of disease spread within trucker-centered networks.
Article
Objective to analyze sexual practices and risk behaviors for sexually transmitted infections among university students. Method in this quantitative, cross-sectional study, 1536 university students, aged between 18 and 29 years, from one public and one private higher education institutions, answered a questionnaire between 2016 and 2018. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Ethical aspects of research with human beings were respected. Results university students in general are exposed to risk behaviors for sexually transmitted infections resulting from inconsistent condom use. When comparing the institutions, differences were found in social aspects and condom use. Conclusion young university students are exposed to sexual risk behaviors for sexually transmitted infections. Understanding the cultural and social aspects of each university environment can be a prevention strategy.
Article
Full-text available
Though previous work has explored how heterosexual and LGBTQ+ young adults make sexual decisions, research comparing these groups is still needed. Using interviews with 60 young adults (aged 22–32) with diverse gender and sexual identities in the USA, this paper investigates how constructions of gender contribute to perceptions of sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk. Across gender and sexual identities, young adults’ discussions of STI experiences, close calls, and fears draw heavily from binary gendered understandings of masculinized sexual bodies as dangerous and feminized sexual bodies as non-threatening. Yet aside from individuals’ gendered identities, gendered sexual bodies emerge as a construct in participants’ accounts that conflates gendered social traits with sex assigned at birth. Participants’ use of gendered sexual bodies to calculate sexual risk poses a potential challenge to larger efforts aimed at decoupling binary gendered norms and expectations from bodies since it helps naturalize associations between assigned sex and gendered characteristics. These findings have implications for theory but also for policy due to the extent to which understandings of gendered sexual bodies influence STI risk perceptions among young adults of varying gender and sexual identity categories.
Article
Full-text available
Objective To identify current uptake of chlamydia testing (UCT) as a sexual and reproductive health service (SRHS) integrated in primary care settings of the WHO European region, with the aim to shape policy and quality of care. Design Systematic review for studies published from January 2001 to May 2018 in any European language. Data sources OVID Medline, EMBASE, Maternal and Infant Care and Global Health. Eligibility criteria Published studies, which involved women or men, adolescents or adults, reporting a UCT indicator in a primary care within a WHO European region country. Study designs considered were: randomised control trials (RCTs), quasi-experimental, observational (eg, cohort, case–control, cross-sectional) and mixed-methods studies as well as case reports. Data extraction and synthesis Two independent reviewers screened the sources and validated the selection process. The BRIGGS Critical Appraisal Checklist for Analytical Cross-Sectional Studies, the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool 2011 and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklists were considered for quality and risk of bias assessment. Results 24 studies were finally included, of which 15 were cross-sectional, 4 cohort, 2 RCTs, 2 case–control studies and 1 mixed-methods study. A majority of the evidence cites the UK model, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Belgium only. Acceptability if offered test in primary healthcare (PHC) ranged from 55% to 81.4% in women and from 9.5% to 70.6% when both genders were reported together. Men may have a lower UCT compared with women. When both genders were reported together, the lowest acceptability was 9.5% in the Netherlands. Denmark presented the highest percentage of eligible people who tested in a PHC setting (87.3%). Conclusions Different health systems may influence UCT in PHC. The regional use of a common testing rate indicator is suggested to homogenise reporting. There is very little evidence on integration of SRHS such as chlamydia testing in PHC and there are gaps between European countries.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Evidence shows that the prevalence of risky sexual practice, drug abuse, and alcohol consumption behaviors in low and middle income countries such as Iran is not in a favorable condition. Preventive programs against these behaviors in Iran are very rare, and the results are unclear, which may be due to the lack of deeply and systematically understanding of the determinants of these behaviors. Evidence suggests that these behaviors are coincidence. So all of these behaviors were examined together. The present study was conducted aiming at determining the reasons for the occurrence of these behaviors among 15-19-year-old adolescents in Iran. Methods: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines were followed to review published and unpublished studies in Iran. The databases used were Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library. The query terms were "Synthetic Drug" OR "Designer Drug", AND Adolescents OR Teenagers OR Juvenile, AND Iran. The Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist was employed for critical appraisal. The quantitative studies using the regression model to analyze the factors affecting these behaviors were studied as the form of the theme. For analyzing the data, narrative synthesis and thematic analysis were used. Results: Twelve studies were meticulously reviewed. The findings were classified into five main themes (including individual, family, friends, school, and community) and 26 sub-themes. The most frequent main theme and sub-themes were respectively Family, Higher age, Male gender, Weak religious beliefs, Low self-esteem, Anti-social behaviors in family, Mother's employment, Parenting style, Poor intimacy of parents, Absence of parents, Peer pressure, and Lack of appropriate recreation. No primary study has referred to the political, economic, or policy factors affecting such behaviors. Conclusions: The most identified sub-themes belong to family factors. Iran is a country with ideology of Islam; however, being Muslim does not guarantee adherence to all Islamic guidelines. So being Muslim is not a good reason to prevent these behaviors. Iran needs precise policy making in this area through considering family structure. It is also suggested that primary studies referring to the political, economic, or policy factors affecting such behaviors should be carried out.
Article
Full-text available
Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) between the ages of 13 and 24 account for a disproportionate number of new HIV infections in the U.S. Recognizing the unique developmental circumstances that YMSM face and building on the dual-process model, it is important to consider the role of cognitive and emotional factors as well as self-efficacy to negotiate safer sex when understanding experiences of sexual risk-taking among YMSM. This article used structural equation modeling to examine how the decisional balance to use condoms (a cognitive factor) and limerence (an emotional factor) are both directly and indirectly associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors (the number of insertive and receptive condomless anal intercourse partners), with indirect effects occurring via limited self-efficacy to negotiate safer sex. Data were from a cross-sectional online survey of YMSM (aged 18–24) in the U.S. who did not report being in a romantic relationship. Analysis included a sample of 1084 single YMSM who had never tested positive for HIV and who had engaged in anal intercourse in the previous 2 months. Results indicated that the decisional balance to use condoms was both directly and indirectly associated with reduced sexual risk-taking behaviors. Limerence was not directly associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors; however, it was indirectly associated with sexual risk-taking behavior through limited self-efficacy to negotiate safer sex. These findings highlight the importance of considering both cognitive and emotional factors, as well as self-efficacy to use condoms, in the development and implementation of HIV prevention interventions for YMSM.
Article
Full-text available
Use of Internet websites and mobile applications to meet potential romantic and sexual partners is becoming increasingly popular. While the Internet might foster better communication and sexual negotiation between partners, it can also be a deceptive environment that instigates and accelerates sexual risk-taking. Given the complexities of the Internet, it is critical to examine the association between risky sexual behaviors (RSBs) and online partner-seeking. Five databases (i.e., Google Scholar, PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Ovid Medline) were searched for articles published before September 10, 2017, that examined the association between online partner solicitation (either for romantic and/or sexual reasons) and RSBs. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were empirical papers published in English-language peer-reviewed journals looking at samples of online partner seekers who practice heterosexual sex (with a comparison group) and reporting either condom use or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) status, which were the two primary outcomes. A total of 25 studies met the criteria to be included in our review. Results from this literature search do not indicate a clear association between online partner-seeking and condom use or STI status. Potential moderators (i.e., age, gender, reasons for online partner solicitation, duration of Internet correspondence, and Internet modalities) that should be included in future research were identified. Sexual health prevention efforts should address methods to negotiate safe practices between sexual partners and to encourage healthy non-virtual relationships, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a narrative overview of research on HIV/STI risk and collective sexual behavior based on an inclusive analysis of research on environments where people gather for sexual activity-sex clubs, swingers' clubs, bathhouses, parks, private sex parties, etc. The aim is to analyze how collective sex has been approached across disciplines to promote conversation across paradigms and suggest new lines of inquiry. Attention to context-such as the location of sex-was a necessary redress to universalizing models of sexual risk-taking behavior, leading to insights rooted in the particularities of each environment and its users. However, the identification of ever more precise risk groups or environmental idiosyncrasies eventually becomes theoretically restrictive, leading to an overestimation of the uniqueness of sexual enclaves, and of the difference between any given enclave and the broader social milieu. Using a theoretical framework of transgression to interpret the interdisciplinary literature, similarities in the spatial and social organization of collective sex environments are identified. Insights generated from this complementary perspective are then applied to understandings of collective sex: first, the example of male-female (MF) "swingers" is used to illustrate the need to establish, rather than assume, the distinctiveness of each non-normative sexual enclave, and to broaden the conceptualization of context; second, questions are raised about the practicality of interventions in collective sex environments. Finally, new lines of intellectual inquiry are suggested to shed light not just on collective sex but on sociosexual issues more generally, such as increasing protective sexual health behavior or negotiating consent in sexual encounters.
Article
Full-text available
While HIV disproportionately impacts homeless individuals, little is known about the prevalence of HIV risk behaviors in the southwest and how age factors and HIV risk perceptions influence sexual risk behaviors. We conducted a secondary data analysis (n = 460) on sexually active homeless adults from a cross-sectional study of participants (n = 610) recruited from homeless service locations, such as shelters and drop-in centers, in an understudied region of the southwest. Covariate-adjusted logistic regressions were used to assess the impact of age at homelessness onset, current age, age at first sex, and HIV risk perceptions on having condomless sex, new sexual partner(s), and multiple sexual partners (≥4 sexual partners) in the past 12 months. Individuals who first experienced homelessness by age 24 were significantly more likely to report condomless sex and multiple sexual partners in the past year than those who had a later onset of their first episode of homelessness. Individuals who were currently 24 years or younger were more likely to have had condomless sex, new sexual partners, and multiple sexual partners in the past 12 months than those who were 25 years or older. Those who had low perceived HIV risk had lower odds of all three sexual risk behaviors. Social service and healthcare providers should consider a younger age at homelessness onset when targeting HIV prevention services to youth experiencing homelessness.
Article
Full-text available
Many women continue to become infected with HIV, particularly in the Southeastern USA, despite widespread knowledge about methods to prevent its sexual transmission. This grounded theory investigation examined the decision-making process women use to guide their use or non-use of self-protective measures when engaging in sexual activity. Participants included women in the Mississippi cohort of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study who were infected with or at high risk for HIV. Theoretical sampling was used to recruit a sample of 20 primarily African American women aged between 26 and 56 years, living in rural and urban areas. Data were analysed using constant comparative method to generate a theory of the process that guided women’s self-protective decisions. Three key themes were identified: (1) sexual silence, an overall context of silence around sexuality in their communities and relationships; (2) the importance of relationships with male partners, including concepts of ‘love and trust’, ‘filling the void’ and ‘don’t rock the boat’; and (3) perceptions of risk, including ‘it never crossed my mind’, ‘it couldn’t happen to me’ and ‘assumptions about HIV’. These themes impacted on women’s understandings of HIV-related risk, making it difficult to put self-protection above other interests and diminishing their motivation to protect themselves.
Article
Full-text available
Recent advancements in HIV treatment and prevention call for a re-imagination of our definition and understanding of bareback sex. The present online study used content analysis to examine 256 gay and bisexual men (GBM)’s definitions, reasons, contexts and feelings about barebacking in Canada and the US. Themes were related to defining barebacking, psychosexual benefits and narratives of risk. Findings suggest that barebacking increases relational intimacy, and that GBM use harm reduction strategies (such as seropositioning and PrEP) to reduce risk of HIV transmission. Previous literature has pathologised the act without considering how GBM who bareback may enhance pleasure and intimacy while reducing HIV risk. HIV-prevention efforts should focus on increasing access to PrEP, adherence to ARVs and efficacy of harm reduction strategies for GBM who bareback.
Article
Full-text available
Emotion mobilizes and demobilizes a social movement while the movement itself impacts people’s emotions. An evidence base is needed for developing timely emotion-focused counseling services for affected populations worldwide. This experience sampling study investigated the impact of social movement on everyday emotional reactivity, variability, instability, and persistence, and whether and how these predicted subsequent psychological distress and well-being among 108 community-dwelling adults. Fifty-four participants reported momentary events and emotions five times daily over seven days during the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. An age-matched sex-matched comparison group (n = 54) participated during a period without major social/political movement. Psychological distress and well-being were assessed at baseline (T1) and 3-month follow-up (T2). Hierarchical linear modeling revealed lower valence ratings of positive events during the Umbrella Movement. Lower positive emotional reactivity and higher negative emotional reactivity in positive events were reported during the Movement. Controlling for demographics and T1 scores, the positive association between negative emotional reactivity in positive events and T2 depressive symptoms and the inverse association between positive emotional instability and T2 positive emotions were significant only among the comparison group. The positive association between positive emotional reactivity in positive events and T2 life satisfaction was significant only among the Umbrella Movement group. People could experience significant changes in their emotions in everyday life during social movement, even if it is short and relatively nonviolent like the Umbrella Movement. Maximizing positive emotions in positive events during social movement can uniquely contribute to higher subsequent psychological well-being.
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Negative feelings about condoms are a key barrier to their use. Using the behavioural affective associations model, we examined the joint effects of affective associations and cognitive beliefs about condoms on condom use. Design: In Study 1 (N = 97), students completed measures of their affective associations and cognitive beliefs about sex and condoms, sexual activity and condom use. In Study 2 (N = 171), a measure of behavioural intentions and condom selection task were added. Main outcome measures: Condom use measured in Study 1 as (1) current condom use, and (2) willingness to use condoms; in Study 2 as: (1) behavioural intentions, (2) number of condoms selected. Results: Affective associations with sex and condoms were behaviour-specific, were directly associated with the respective behaviour, and mediated the relations of cognitive beliefs to behaviour, ps < .05. In Study 2, affective associations were associated with behavioural intentions and the number of condoms selected, ps < .05; cognitive beliefs were indirectly associated with these outcomes through affective associations, indirect effects: ps < .05. Conclusions: Affective associations are a behaviour-specific and proximal predictor of condom use, mediating the effect of cognitive beliefs, suggesting they may be a particularly viable intervention target.
Article
Full-text available
Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between safe sex self-efficacy and safe-sex practice in a Southern college setting. Methods: Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the association between safe sex self-efficacy in four domains (mechanics, partner disapproval, assertiveness, intoxicants) and safe sex practice (outcome variable). Results: For every 1-unit increase in the composite condom use self-efficacy score, there was an 8% increase in the odds of being beyond the median safe-sex practice score (odds ration [OR]: 1.08, 95% CI: 1.02-1.15). Additionally, for every 1-unit increase in intoxicants self-efficacy score, there was a 31% increase in the odds of being beyond the median safe-sex practice score (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08-1.58). Conclusion: A greater degree of safe-sex self-efficacy is associated with increased odds of safe-sex practice. These findings are informative for the development of targeted approaches to foster safe-sex behavior in Southern US colleges.
Article
Full-text available
Black South African youth are disproportionately affected by HIV, and risky sexual behaviors increase youths' vulnerability to infection. U.S.-based research has highlighted several contextual influences on sexual risk, but these processes have not been examined in a South African context. In a convenience sample of Black South African caregivers and their 10-14-year-old youth (Mage = 11.7, SD = 1.4; 52.5% female), we examined the relation between parenting and youth sexual risk within the context of community-level processes, including neighborhood quality and maternal social support. Hypotheses were evaluated using structural equation modeling. Results revealed that better neighborhood quality and more social support predicted positive parenting, which in turn predicted less youth sexual risk. There was a significant indirect effect from neighborhood quality to youth sexual risk via parenting. Results highlight the importance of the community context in parenting and youth sexual risk in this understudied sample. HIV prevention-interventions should be informed by these contextual factors.
Article
Full-text available
Several characteristics of sexual assault awareness programs for women are associated with meeting the goals of risk reduction. To date, the literature lacks an exploration of how single-sex programs affect women, particularly when they take a bystander intervention focus using women's risk recognition and avoidance as outcome measures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of The Women's Program (Foubert, 2011), a sexual assault awareness program geared toward women. Participants consisted of 103 undergraduate women attending a large, public university in the Midwest United States. Women in the treatment group viewed a presentation of The Women's Program, whereas the control group received no intervention. Consistent with hypotheses, program participants reported a greater ability to recognize risk cues, a greater willingness to engage in self-protective behaviors, and a greater level of perceived self-efficacy in handling threatening dating situations compared to the control group.
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have identified engagement in sexual concurrency, particularly when condom use is inconsistent, as a risk factor for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. This risk is particularly salient in rural communities in which dense interconnection of sexual networks can promote the spread of sexually transmitted infections. The authors investigated individual and relationship factors that predict inconsistent condom use in the context of main and casual partner sexual concurrency among 176 rural African American men. The individual psychosocial factors investigated included impulsivity and anger/hostility. Relationship variables included fidelity expectations, criticism from partners, and relationship control in both main and casual relationships. No individual risk factors were associated with main partner inconsistent condom use; however, impulsivity and anger/hostility positively predicted inconsistent condom use with a casual partner. Relationship control in the main partnership predicted inconsistent condom use with the main partner. Criticism from the main partner positively predicted inconsistent condom use with a casual partner. Finally, expectations for a casual partner’s fidelity positively predicted inconsistent condom use with that partner. These findings underscore the importance of considering the influence of one sexual partnership on behavior in another and of taking this complexity into account in the development of preventive interventions.
Article
Full-text available
The history of bullying research is summarised and the KiVa bullying prevention programme described. KiVa is a whole-school programme with universal and indicated actions for children aged 7 to 15 years in the Finnish comprehensive school system. It was developed at Turku University, Finland, by social psychologist Christina Salmivalli and colleagues. It has demonstrated significant benefits in a large-scale randomised controlled trial and a subsequent roll-out of the programme to 90 per cent of schools in the Finnish comprehensive system (www.kivakoulu.fi/). KiVa is based on research showing the important role played by bystanders in the bullying process. The universal and indicated actions within the programme are described. The universal actions consist of class lessons, whole school actions and a parent website. Evidence from the Finnish trials is summarised. The paper describes the introduction of the programme to the UK in 2012 and the results from the first, psychologist led, UK pilot trial of the programme are reported. Seventeen schools participated in the trial of Unit 2, at the time the only material available in English (for children aged 9 to 11 years), and delivered KiVa lessons to year 5 and/or year 6 pupils. Children completed the online KiVa survey prior to programme commencement and at the end of the school year. Significant reductions were reported in bullying and victimisation. Teachers reported high levels of pupil acceptance and engagement with lessons. The paper concludes with reflections on the role that educational and other applied psychologists can play in further disseminating this programme.
Article
Full-text available
Sex with multiple partners, consecutively or concurrently, is a risk factor for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as multiple partner-partner contacts present increased opportunity for transmission. It is unclear, however, if individuals who tend to have more partners also use protection less reliably than those with sexual histories of fewer partners. Longitudinal data can elucidate whether an individual shows a consistent pattern of sex with multiple partners. We used latent class growth analyses to examine emerging adult survey data (N = 2244) spanning 10 waves of assessment across 6 years. We identified three trajectory classes described with respect to number of partners as (a) Multiple, (b) Single, and (c) Rare. Trajectory group, relationship status, and their interactions were tested as predictors of using protection against STIs and pregnancy at each wave. The Multiple Partners class had the greatest odds ratio of reporting sex without protection against STIs and pregnancy, followed by the Single and Rare classes. Exclusive relationship status was a risk factor for unprotected sex at earlier waves, but a protective factor at most later waves. There was no significant interaction between relationship status and trajectory class in predicting use of protection. The Multiple Partners class reported more permissive values on sex and an elevated proportion of homosexual behavior. This group overlaps with an already identified at-risk population, men who have sex with men. Potential mechanisms explaining the increased risk for sex without protection, including communication, risk assessment, and co-occurring risk behaviors are discussed as targets for intervention.
Article
Full-text available
This article traces the history of free association in psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, and social psychology and builds on these traditions to develop a novel research method for eliciting how people think and feel about social and personal issues. These range from climate change to pandemics, from earthquakes to urban living. The method, termed the grid elaboration method (GEM), is distinctive in tapping the naturalistic thoughts and feelings that people hold in relation to such issues. It provides an instrument that elicits ecologically valid material that minimizes the interference of the investigator's perspective. A further aspect of the method is that it taps chains of association that are often emotive and implicit in nature, in keeping with current trends in psychological research. These facets are elaborated in this article, with reference to an exploration of the history of free association methodologies in psychology. The efficacy of the method is demonstrated using examples drawn from recent empirical work utilizing the GEM in a variety of domains. The method is evaluated, with areas for future exploration elucidated.
Article
Full-text available
Durante la juventud se consolidan los hábitos y las actitudes que influirán en la adopción o abandono de conductas sexuales preventivas. El objetivo de este estudio es doble, describir los hábitos sexuales de los universitarios españoles y conocer cómo los estereotipos y la percepción de control ante el VIH/SIDA se relacionan con la ilusión de invulnerabilidad. Se llevó a cabo un estudio de campo con 269 universitarios/as, 72 varones y 197 mujeres, con edades comprendidas entre 18 y 25 años (M=19,57, DE=1,82) de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid durante el curso 2011–2012. El 85,13% de los universitarios eran personas activas sexualmente. De éstas, el 71,2% presentaron en algún grado ilusión de invulnerabilidad, siendo las mujeres las que mostraron ligeramente mayores puntaciones. A pesar de que los universitarios siguen estereotipando sobre las personas con SIDA, no se encontró ninguna relación con esta variable socio-cognitiva. El sexo y la estabilidad de la relación, actuaron como variables moderadoras de la relación entre la percepción de control y la ilusión de invulnerabilidad. Es necesario seguir aportando información correcta sobre el SIDA para eliminar los estereotipos y diseñar programas de prevención que reduzcan la ilusión de invulnerabilidad y la percepción de control.
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Condom use is critical for the health of sexually active adolescents, and yet many adolescents fail to use condoms consistently. One interpersonal factor that may be key to condom use is sexual communication between sexual partners; however, the association between communication and condom use has varied considerably in prior studies of youth. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to synthesize the growing body of research linking adolescents' sexual communication to condom use, and to examine several moderators of this association. Method: A total of 41 independent effect sizes from 34 studies with 15,046 adolescent participants (M(age) = 16.8, age range = 12-23) were meta-analyzed. Results: Results revealed a weighted mean effect size of the sexual communication-condom use relationship of r = .24, which was statistically heterogeneous (Q = 618.86, p < .001, I² = 93.54). Effect sizes did not differ significantly by gender, age, recruitment setting, country of study, or condom measurement timeframe; however, communication topic and communication format were statistically significant moderators (p < .001). Larger effect sizes were found for communication about condom use (r = .34) than communication about sexual history (r = .15) or general safer sex topics (r = .14). Effect sizes were also larger for communication behavior formats (r = .27) and self-efficacy formats (r = .28), than for fear/concern (r = .18), future intention (r = .15), or communication comfort (r = -.15) formats. Conclusions: Results highlight the urgency of emphasizing communication skills, particularly about condom use, in HIV/STI prevention work for youth. Implications for the future study of sexual communication are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
to analyze the relationship of masculinity, vulnerability and prevention of STD / HIV / AIDS among adolescent males of a land reform settlement in central Brazil. a qualitative study using as precepts the strands of social representations with teenagers between 12 to 24 years. three categories emerged - Perception of vulnerability; Gender and vulnerability; and, Prevention and vulnerability to STD / HIV / AIDS. Adolescents felt invulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases anchored in the social representations in favor of the male hegemony. An ignorance about forms of prevention for STD / HIV / AIDS was demonstrated in their statements. It is believed that institutional projects such as the School Health Program and the Men's Health Care Program constitute essential tools to minimize factors of vulnerability in this population, since the school is recognized as a social facility that promotes socialization of experiences and contributes to the construction of the identity of the adolescent. the social representations of masculinity collaborate for the vulnerable behavior of the adolescents for the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases. One hopes that this study can contribute to the production of knowledge and technical-scientific improvement of the professionals, especially the nurse, in order to discuss issues related to male sexuality of adolescents in the situation of the land reform settlement.
Article
Full-text available
While it is generally accepted in writings on the sociocultural aspects of risk that risk and emotion are interrelated, this relationship remains under-theorised. The literature on the affect heuristic model in psychology and research on voluntary risk-taking or edgework in sociology have dominated previous writings on risk and emotion. This essay draws on scholarship from affect theory, cultural studies and cultural geography to argue that both emotion and risk are inevitably and always configured via social and cultural processes and through interaction with others' bodies, material objects, space and place. Furthermore, both emotions and risk judgements and understandings, rather than being located within the individual, are fluid, shared and collective. The concept of the ‘emotion–risk assemblage’ is introduced to denote a heterogeneous configuration of ideational and material, human and non-human elements that is subject to constant flux and change. I illustrate this analysis with some observations about the emotional elements of risk in the context of public health practice. I argue that although public health discourse represents the field as dispassionately expert and rational, its practices frequently engage affective strategies that covertly, and sometimes overtly, incite or reproduce stigmatisation, marginalisation, blaming, shame, disgust, fear and exclusion of certain social groups.
Article
Full-text available
Thirty-nine educated middle-class residents of Patna, India, were interviewed about a vignette describing the behaviour of a seemingly mad man or woman. The interview explored their representations of traditional healing methods and of modern psychiatric notions. Besides explanations for mental illness and madness, the interviews also covered the reaction of families and neighbours to such phenomena. Respondents thought of different causes depending on the context, ranging from frustrated desires, shock and heredity to spirit possession. The majority’s spontaneous preference for modern psychiatric treatment often co-exists with a faith in traditional healing. This faith is strengthened by their family’s traditional preference. The results are discussed as an example of a process of modernization of common sense in which popularized scientific notions become anchored in the traditional setting of social structure and family life. The newly acquired knowledge forms a loosely organized social representation confronting a strongly objectified cultural representation of traditional thinking.
Article
Full-text available
Some aspects of the ontogenesis of social representations are discusssed through a considera- tion of specific issues raised by empirical research on the development of representations of gender through children's first year of schooling. A comparison with Vygotsky's general law of cultural development emphasises the importance of considering social identities as structures mediating between the interpsychological and the intrapsychological in individual development. The relationship of social identities to social representations is further explored, in particular through the introduction of a notion of positioning. A second theme is the examination of the figurative nucleus of children's representations of gender, in which the metaphor of sexual reproduction provides the central image. A key proposition of genetic theories is the notion that to understand something one needs to know how it is constructed. In considering social representations from this point of view I want to focus on their ontogenesis, that is the process through which children's thinking, acting and feeling come to be structured in terms of the social representations of their community. In short, how the child becomes a competent social actor. The child, of course, is born into a world already structured by social representations. Indeed, in so far as the objectification of social representations constitutes realities, these are the realities of the human world into which the child is born. Yet, the circulation of represen- tations around the child does not lead to them being either simply impressed upon the child, or simply appropriated by the child. Rather, their acquisition is the outcome of a process of development, and a focus on this process can in turn illustrate something about the structure of social representations themselves. In my own work with Barbara Lloyd (Lloyd and Duveen, 1992) I have been concerned with the development of social representations of gender, and I shall take this as my example. In doing so I am limiting the generality of the argument in an important way. For social representations of gender carry with them an imperative obligation that individuals construct a corresponding social identity (Duveen and Lloyd, 1990). We must all develop gender identities as we grow up if we are to become competent social actors -this does not mean, as we shall see, that we all need to construct the same identities, only that there is an obligation to construct an identity. In this gender is distinct from other social representations, where the identity structure is not imperative, but contractual. There is no imperative obliging us to become psychoanalysts, for example, but if we choose to do so then we must contract into a particular representational field (from this point of view the disputes occasioned by Jeffrey Masson's writings can be viewed as contractual disputes).
Article
Disease transmission across borders may occur during the context of international travel and is a critical public health arena for study. This study examined the associations between personality factors (sensation seeking and impulsivity) and international travellers’ engagement in high-risk sexual behaviours during their trip(s) abroad. Overall, we found that the profile of high-risk and non-high-risk international travellers were statistically significantly different (i.e. high-risk international travellers had a higher tendency for sensation seeking and impulsivity; had a greater number of lifetime sexual partners; were more likely to be male, non-White, younger, non-married or not in a committed relationship, gay, lesbian or bisexual; and had lower educational attainment). Variables that positively predicted participants’ high-risk sexual behaviours were measures of impulsivity, number of sexual partners, gender (i.e. being male), and educational attainment. The participants’ age, however, was negatively associated with their high-risk sexual behaviours. Our study concurs with previous research findings suggesting that sensation seeking and impulsive behaviours are related to the practice of high-risk sexual behaviours. Findings from this study can be used to create more translational research in tourism for frequent international travellers.
Article
Effective condom negotiation skills support better sexual health for both men and women. The current study explored relationship motivation (motivation to establish and maintain long-term romantic relationships), gender, and sexual orientation as factors influencing the condom negotiation process. Participants (177 heterosexual women, 157 heterosexual men, and 106 men who have sex with men) read a vignette describing an encounter with a hypothetical new sexual/romantic partner and responded to embedded items and scales. Stronger relationship motivation predicted increased willingness to have condomless sex among women who perceived greater familiarity with the hypothetical partner. Gender and sexual orientation predicted different preferences for condom insistence strategies. The findings suggest that there are a number of conditions that make it more difficult to recognize risk during a sexual encounter and demonstrate how the process of condom negotiation can be impacted by gender, sexual orientation, and relationship motivation.
Article
Adolescent sexual behavior was examined within a health perspective. Assuming a developmental perspective, the current study investigated the associations between sexual behavior in either stable relationships or in casual encounters, and the quality of romantic relationships and affect 4 years later. Data were collected from 144 Israeli adolescents aged 16–18 years (mean age 16.57 years). Participants completed diary data over a period of 10 days and reported on the quality of their romantic encounters and their emotions, and on their sexual behavior in stable relationships or casual encounters. Four years later, they were asked to complete diary data again for 10 consecutive days and report on the quality of their romantic relationships and their positive and negative affect. Findings indicate that involvement in sexual behavior in stable romantic relationships was associated only with future romantic partner support. In contrast, earlier involvement in casual sexual behavior was associated with a number of future indices: lower partner support, greater negative affect as well as greater relationship tension, and dyadic hurtful behavior 4 years later. The differential role of sexuality within a stable relationship or casual encounters among adolescents for their future romantic development is discussed within a developmental framework. © 2019
Article
Introduction Sexual intercourse is currently the main route of HIV infection in Spain. Despite decreases in new infections among women and drug users, the rate remains stable in men. The aim of this study was to assess risk behaviour and HIV awareness in a sample of young adults in Spain. Methods A cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study was performed on a non-HIV infected sample, using a questionnaire on sexual health and HIV awareness adapted from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics. A sexual risk variable was included (high and low), which was classified as high if subjects had had three or more sexual partners and did not always use a condom in all their sexual encounters. Results 243 subjects were included (65.6% women) aged between 16 and 36 years (mean = 25.7; SD = 4.1) (16–24 years: 134 subjects; 25–29 years: 60 subjects; over 30 years: 47 subjects). Approximately 40.9% said that they used a condom in all sexual relations and 61% did not perceive any risk of infection. There were no significant differences in awareness of infection routes between the high and low risk profiles. Washing after sex, having few partners, spermicide use and having undetectable viral load were protective measures significantly associated with differences in sexual risk (p < 0.05). Conclusions The main finding of the study was the underestimation of risk of infection, analysed after differences found between self-assessment and sexual risk. Both positive and negative results were found concerning HIV awareness.
Article
Through a 2 × 2 × 2 quasi experimental design (N = 254), this research investigated if a social campaign eliciting positive emotions and activating moral norms might enhance condom negotiation skills, intended and estimated condom among young women with or without past sexual experience with casual partners. Emotions had a main effect on one of the six condom negotiation strategies we considered; for most of the other variables an interaction effect with moral norms and/or past behaviour emerged. Concerning estimated condom use, positive emotions worked better than negative ones when moral norms were salient. With respect to negotiations skills, positive rather than negative emotions seemed more effective for women with past causal sexual experience. In women without this kind of experience, positive emotions seemed to work better when moral norms were salient. Moral norms had a main effect on negotiation self-efficacy, but not in the predicted direction: when moral norms were more salient women were found to be less confident about their negotiation ability. These results suggest that a message which makes moral norms salient should at the same time elicit positive emotions in order to be effective; moreover, messages should be carefully tailored according to women’s past behaviour. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/95hJcTIbfDckf8raDR3C/full
Article
Method: A sample of N=144 adolescents and young adults (Mage=18.77, SDage=3.4, range: 12-25) completed self-report questionnaires regarding past month substance use, unprotected sex, and perceived risks of having unprotected sex. Results: In a hierarchical logistic regression, only alcohol use was related to having unprotected sex at last intercourse (b=0.25, p<0.001). The second multinomial logistic regression showed that the interaction of alcohol and marijuana use was significantly related to lower levels of perceived risk of unprotected sex (moderate risk: b=0.06, p=0.04, OR=1.07; no/slight risk: b=0.07, p=0.03). Conclusion: While dual marijuana and alcohol use was related to lower perceived risk of unprotected sex, only alcohol use only was associated with a higher likelihood of unprotected sex.
Article
How do teenagers located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, the epicentre of the HIV pandemic, give meaning to sexuality? This paper examines teenage black Africans investments in sex and sexuality and the gendered dynamics through which sexuality is articulated. Whilst unequal gender relations of power continue to feature prominently within relationship dynamics fuelling the gendering of HIV, attention to the micro-processes through which relationships are forged remain significant in illustrating the complex connections between love, sex and gender. Drawing on empirical findings with teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, the paper shows how relationships are conceptualised based on discourses of love. Love is inextricably bound up with sex and when teenagers talk about love and sex they also talk about condom use, multiple sexual partners and gender inequalities. What teenagers were interested in for their sexual relationships was not raised in sex education programmes at school. Implications for addressing teenage constructions of sexuality are discussed in the conclusion.
Article
We analyzed a sample of 12,065 hookup encounters among college students at 22 colleges and universities in the Online College Social Life Survey (OCSLS) to explore how partner meeting locales may influence college students’ risky behavior when hookup partners are met in those contexts. For other-sex encounters, meeting in bars or at parties, through common interest groups or history, and (for women) at dormitories was associated with binge drinking during encounters, while meeting online and (for women) in public was associated with reduced binge drinking during encounters. Unprotected sex during other-sex encounters was more common when partners were met in public and less common with partners met in dormitories. Binge drinking and marijuana use during or just prior to encounters was associated with an increased risk of unprotected sex and other substance use. Marijuana use and unprotected sex during encounters was more common when students knew their hookup partner better or had hooked up with the partner before, while binge drinking was associated with hooking up with less familiar partners. Associations of meeting contexts with behavior were explained by the locale’s association with institutional and personal trust, social scripts, and selection into certain contexts by students with a risk-taking personality.
Book
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences. Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy. .
Article
This book explores the relationship between knowledge and context through a novel analysis of processes of representation. Sandra Jovchelovitch argues that representation, a social psychological construct relating self, other and object-world, is at the basis of all knowledge. Understanding its genesis and actualisation in individual and social life explains what ties knowledge to persons, communities and cultures. It is through representation that we can appreciate the diversity of knowledge, and it is representation that opens the epistemic function of knowing to emotional and social rationalities. Drawing on dialogues between psychology, sociology and anthropology, Jovchelovitch explores the dominant assumptions of western conceptions of knowledge and the quest for a unitary reason free from the 'impurities' of person, community and culture. She recasts questions related to historical comparisons between the knowledge of adults and children, 'civilised' and 'primitive' peoples, scientists and lay communities and examines the ambivalence of classical theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Freud, Durkheim and Lévy-Bruhl in addressing these issues. Against this background, Jovchelovitch situates and expands Moscovici's theory of social representations, developing a framework to diagnose and understand knowledge systems, how they relate to different communities and what defines dialogical and non-dialogical encounters between knowledges in contemporary public spheres. Diversity in knowledge, she shows, is an asset of all human communities and dialogue between different forms of knowing constitutes the difficult but necessary task that can enlarge the frontiers of all knowledges. Knowledge in context will make essential reading for all those wanting to follow debates on knowledge and representation at the cutting edge of social, cultural and developmental psychology, sociology, anthropology, development and cultural studies.
Article
Objectives: Risky sexual behavior increases during college. HIV knowledge and risk perception have been inconsistent predictors of risky sex independently. Methods: The study tested the interaction between HIV knowledge, risk perception and sex to predict risky sex in college students (N = 171; 52.0% females). Results: Females' HIV knowledge resulted in greater reports of risky sex when risk perception was low. Conversely, males' HIV knowledge translated in higher reports of risky sex when risk perception was high. Conclusions: While preliminary, this study calls for nuanced models of risky sex and the inclusion of risk perception modules in HIV reduction programs.
Chapter
Moscovici, S. (1998). The history and actuality of social representations. In U. Flick (Ed.), The psychology of the social (pp. 209-247). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Article
Tourist experiences have been conceptualized as heterotopias, and liminoid contra-normative settings offering a license for thrills, situational disinhibition, and sexual experimentation. The purpose of this study was to explore the links between tourism and young women's sexual behavior, focusing on their perceptions of sexual risk-taking in tourism and its consequences. Transcendental phenomenology was implemented to grasp the uniqueness of the individual experiences and assess the universal meanings of the phenomenon, proceeding through the stages of epoch e, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. The findings of fifteen in-depth interviews reveal that women's sexual risk-taking in tourism is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon involving physical, sexual health, social, emotional, mental/self-perceptional, cultural, and legal aspects. Clarifying the dimensions of sexual risk-taking in tourism and its consequences benefits the literature in terms of shedding light on an under-researched topic and provides information for health education/intervention programs aimed at addressing sexual risk behaviors in tourism.
Book
Serge Moscovici first introduced the concept of social representations into contemporary social psychology nearly forty years ago. Since then the theory has become one of the predominant approaches in social psychology, not only in continental Europe, but increasingly in the Anglo-Saxon world as well. While Moscovici's work has spread broadly across the discipline, notably through his contributions to the study of minority influences and of the psychology of crowds, the study of social representations has continued to provide the central focus for one of the most distinctive and original voices in social psychology today. This volume brings together some of Moscovici's classic statements of the theory of social representations, as well as elaborations of the distinctive features of this perspective in social psychology. In addition the book includes some recent essays in which he re-examines the intellectual history of social representations, exploring the diverse ways in which this theory has responded to a tradition of thought in the social sciences which encompasses not only the contributions of Durkheim and Piaget, but also those of Lévy-Bruhl and Vygotsky. The final chapter of the book consists of a long interview with Ivana Marková, in which Moscovici not only reviews his own intellectual itinerary but also gives his views on some of the key questions facing social psychology today. The publication of this volume provides an essential source for the study of social representations and for an assessment of the work of a social psychologist who has consistently sought to re-establish the discipline as a vital element of the social sciences.
Article
The many and varied sexual health promotion campaigns of recent years have sought to establish safe sex as the main protective mechanism for stemming the spread of sexually transmitted infections. However, the meaning of ‘safe’ sex remains unclear. Sexual health promotion literature almost entirely constructs safety through a biomedical lens: minimising the risk of bodily fluid exchange and establishing physical barriers between partners. However, this viewpoint may be insufficient when considering the emotionally charged arena of sexual behaviour which is, by its very nature, social. What meaning is ascribed to sexual safety and how is it made sense of or rationalised at the level of the individual? Twenty-two in-depth interviews were carried out with men who have sex with men, men who have sex with women, women who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women aged 18–30. These sought to gain an insight into their understanding of safe sex and their experiences of safe or unsafe sex. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employed to help understand how these individuals made sense of safety. Analysis painted a picture of safe sex that is far more complex than the simple avoidance of infection. The typical biomedical safety rationale was frequently intertwined with lay rationales concerning ‘emotional safety’ or ‘psychological safety’. When establishing a safe sexual relationship it was clearly evident that the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection was not always the primary concern and, for many individuals, feeling safe with their partner held far greater importance.
Chapter
Moscovici, S. (1984). The phenomenon of social representations. In R. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Social representations (pp. 3-69). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Article
This paper aims at validating the relationship between the way people think about condom use in different types of sexual relationships and the safer sexual decisions they make in that kind of relationship. Based on prototypical features of relationships it was predicted that condom use would be more common in casual relationships whereas individuals in stable relationships would prefer to rely on their ability to select a safe partner. In two studies the predicted relationship between type of sexual relationship and safer or more risky sexual behaviour was validated. Data from the first study (N = 217) show that cognitive representations of both stable and casual sexual relationships arc organised around prototypical features, including types of safer sexual behaviour. In the second study (N = 448 sexual encounters) a link was found between the way people think about safer sex in stable and casual relationships as found in study 1, and the safer sexual decisions they make in that kind of relationship.
Article
ALCESTE - A Methodology of Textual Data Analysis and an Application: Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval. Beginning with a cross-tabulation with different all sentence fragments in rows and a selected vocabulary in columns for a specific corpus, the author presents: the methodology, including principle concepts and objectives of this form of analysis; the technique, the ALCESTE computer program of automatic classification based on resemblance or dissimilarity: and an application, the analysis of Gérard de Nerval's text Aurélia. The analysis distinguishes three types of fragments which are described and analyzed further.
Article
This study examined the effects of future certainty (the perceptions an individual has about how positive and certain their future is) on adolescents' and young adults' sexual knowledge and sexual attitudes. This longitudinal study measured sexual knowledge and attitudes one year after an initial measure of future certainty. Ethnic differences among these relationships were also examined for Hispanic, African American and white adolescents in an attempt to explain some of the variability in sexual risk for these ethnic groups. A total of 2900 male and 3081 female youth were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), and were measured on four aspects of future certainty: life certainty (e.g., life expectancy), health certainty (i.e., sexually transmitted infection risk), marriage certainty, and college certainty. Results using analysis of variance showed that white youth were less at-risk of perceiving negative and uncertain futures than their peers. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses also showed that the future certainty variables predicted sexual knowledge and permissive sexual attitudes one year later, after controlling for individual and family characteristics. However, the direction of the relationship was dependent on the type of future certainty, and not all relationships held for all three ethnic groups. The study provides important information for intervention research targeting youth who are at-risk for engaging in high risk sexual behaviours.
Article
Beck (1992) suggests that heterosexual relationships have changed to the extent that intimacies can be exchanged almost like handshakes. If this notion extends to sexual behaviour it could present a major threat to sexual health. This study targeted the arena of unprotected sex against a backdrop of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. A matched sample of 25 men and 25 women were interviewed and opinions about sexual encounters and unprotected sex were explored. The data suggest that individuals in both groups participated in unprotected sex even though they had a knowledge of the risks they were taking. Their actions appear to be sanitised because they felt that they knew or could trust their partners. This suggests an ego-centric view of their culture in that the respondents project their own rules or wishes upon society rather than conforming to the accepted norm (that is refraining from behaviour that could expose them to infection). The time scale for knowing and trusting another was generally short, suggesting that intimacies are, indeed, becoming casual. This is an area that requires further investigation. There may be an investment in social capital: a set of informal values or norms that are shared amongst members of a group (Fukuyama, 1997). It is argued that ego-centricity facilitates pseudo-social capital that can compromise general health.