Sexual identity priming impacts men’s attitudes towards sexual risk-taking behavior and sexual behavior norms

  • I. Saboshchuk
  • S. Golub


Background: Past literature has indicated that temptation for unsafe sex, masculinity endorsements and lower condom self-efficacy are associated with sexual risk-taking behavior and, consequently, HIV risk. Additionally, researchers have found that stereotypes can have negative psychosocial consequences for members of stereotyped groups, including conformity to stereotypes. Two studies explore the role of sexual identity priming in perceptions of norms, endorsements of sexism and conforming to sexual stereotypes in males. Methods: Two experimental (N = 84, N = 147) studies tested whether sexual identity salience impacted reported sexual risk-taking. Findings: Differences in temptation for unsafe sex and condom self-efficacy appeared in conditions when sexual identity was made salient (Study 1). Hostile sexism predicted participants‘ temptation for unsafe sex, whereas benevolent sexism did not (Study 2). Additionally, temptation for unsafe sex was strongly predictive of actual reported unsafe sexual behavior. Discussion: These data suggest that sexual identity salience may change male attitudes about unsafe sex. Because temptation for unsafe sex has been associated with unprotected sexual behavior, sexual identity awareness may provide a pathway for intervention on unprotected sexual behavior in males.
Oral presentations