Safer sexual behaviour among university students : relationship to sex role attitudes, assertiveness and communication, and power balance

Perry, Andrea (2001) Safer sexual behaviour among university students : relationship to sex role attitudes, assertiveness and communication, and power balance. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Background: University students are vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS because some of their behaviours are known HIV risk factors. Because HIV/AIDS is preventable, it is important to understand the factors associated with risk behaviours. Sex role attitudes, communication and assertiveness, and power balance in relationships are associated with safer sex behaviour. -- Hypotheses: 1. Respondents who hold more traditional thoughts about the rights and roles of women are less likely to practice safer sex behaviour. 2. Respondents who are not assertive about HIV and do not communicate effectively about HIV/AIDS and sexuality are less likely to practice safer sex. 3. Respondents who are in an unbalanced relationship with respect to power distribution are less likely to practice safer sex. -- Methods: The study was descriptive in nature. A 69-item questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 86 second- year university students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology course. The questionnaire consisted of sections on the roles of men and women, communication and assertiveness, safer sex behaviour, power balance, and demographics. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlation, test of equality of means and a multiple regression were used in the data analysis. -- Results: Traditional thoughts about the roles of men and women were negatively correlated with safer sex behaviour as was hypothesized. Assertiveness and communication was positively correlated with safer sex behaviour as was hypothesized. Power balance was negatively correlated with safer sex behaviour. Assertiveness and communication were found to be the most important statistical contributors to safer sex behaviour. -- Conclusions: Assertiveness and sexual stereotypes play an important role in one's ability to practice safer sex behaviour. Assertiveness training and training geared towards eliminating sexual stereotypes may give young people the awareness and confidence to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. Power balance may also play a role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS but it is less evident in this sample.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8598
Item ID: 8598
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 146-155.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: College students--Sexual behavior; Safe sex in AIDS prevention
Medical Subject Heading: Sexual Behavior; Gender Identity; Students; Assertiveness; Communication; Power (Psychology); Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--prevention & control; HIV Infections--prevention & control

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