A study of AIDS-related beliefs and behavioral changes was conducted among 781 18-19 year old Israeli army recruits. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires. The analyses presented in this paper focus on gender differences in AIDS-related behavioral changes and their predictors in terms of soriodemographic variables and the Health Belief Model (HBM) variables in a subsample of the sexually active respondents (212 males and 173 females). The results indicate that both sexes are more likely to change behaviors which are dependent on themselves and when there are no significant barriers to adoption. Except for increase in condom use, women report somewhat more AIDS-related behavioral changes, in spite of their lower risk of contracting AIDS due to differences in sexual habits. Rational calculations as measured by the HBM variables contribute more to the explained variability of females' behavioral changes than those of males. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that women, more than men, behave rationally regarding health risks and are more responsive to educational appeals for illness prevention practices. Programs targeted at changing AIDS-related behavior should take into account varying inconsistences in different segments of the population between objective health risks and the readiness to adopt illness prevention recommendations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health