This study was designed to examine the influence a potential date’s physical attractiveness and sexual history has on an individual’s intentions to engage in safer sex. Over 1,200 participants completed an Internet survey. The questionnaire presented a randomized biography and photograph and asked participants to rate their interest in dating and having a sexual relationship with the target. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions based on the target’s physical attractiveness (low vs. high) and sexual experience (low, medium, or high). Results indicated that men reported greater intentions to have sex than women did, and all participants reported greater likelihood of having sex when the potential partner was highly attractive. Participants rated men and more experienced targets as more risky sexual partners, and the level of a target’s sexual experience was directly related to participants’ willingness to discuss sexual risks. Results indicate a continuing need to include discussion of cognitive factors in all HIV prevention efforts.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 11, 2007
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