Gender differences in HIV-related self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among college students

B. Dekin, C. Healton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A survey of 265 college students was conducted to determine HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and perceived self-efficacy with regard to engaging in HIV-protective behaviors. A self-administered 52-item survey was completed by 265 college students (60% response rate). Resident advisors in college dormitories distributed the survey, returned anonymously. Data were analyzed using SPSS to identify differential responses by gender. Although HIV knowledge was high, perceived self-efficacy differed significantly by gender, with men describing themselves as less able to insist upon condom use (P < .00001). Men were also significantly more likely to report using drugs or alcohol in situations likely to lead to a sexual encounter (P < .001) and to having lower self-efficacy in relation to HIV protection than women in such situations (P < .02). Men were also significantly more likely to believe that monogamy obviates the need to use condoms (P < .01). A substantial number of men (13) and women (14.6) say they do not use condoms because they are protected from unwanted pregnancy by the pill. Gender-specific HIV education and skills-building programs may improve the success of AIDS prevention efforts by confronting and addressing gender differences. The reliance on hormonal methods of birth control alone may be a barrier to condom use for both male and female adolescents and young adults. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): AIDS; HIV; knowledge, attitudes, and practice; gender; condoms; birth control; family planning; teenage pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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