Sexual health and the sexual self
Spitalnick, Joshua S
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Sexual risk-taking behavior has been found to increase one’s exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the current study investigated issues related to men’s sexuality and sexual health in an effort to increase our understanding of factors that contribute to and reduce one’s likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior. One focus of this study examined the relationship between sexual risk-taking behaviors and intrapersonal sexuality constructs (i.e., sexual esteem and sexual self-schema). A second area of inquiry evaluated the reliability of the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model (Fisher & Fisher, 1992) as a tool to predict AIDS preventive behaviors. The participants (N = 465), males from a large Southeastern university, completed an internet-based survey. Although the use of sexual self-schema to predict risky sexual behavior was not supported, results did suggest that sexual esteem represents a useful construct from which we can predict sexual risk-taking behavior. Results also confirmed the reliability of the IMB model as a tool to predict AIDS preventive behaviors in heterosexual male university populations. Further, moderation analyses confirmed that risk-reducing motivation does influence whether males activate behavioral skills to reduce their risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Implications of these findings and limitations of this study are discussed. Suggestions for future research are also presented.
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