Two age cohorts of male and female students (n = 311) were investigated concerning their perceptions of the HIV-related risks of various sex-related practices (unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex, and mutual masturbation and kissing). Participants judged the risk of these activities for either a male or a female acquiring either a new male sexual partner or a new female one. The greater risks of unprotected sex compared to other practices and the enhanced risks of these practices within gay (male-male) pairings were recognized. However low-risk activities (e.g., kissing and masturbation) were still judged riskier for gay partners than were the same practices within other sexual relationships. Sexual practices in lesbian relationships were estimated to be no less risky than those in heterosexual ones. The older cohort seemed better able than the younger to distinguish risky practices for gay male pairings, although these older participants also tended more to extend these risks to lesbian partners. Male participants more often than female ones overestimated the risks of anal penetration for heterosexual males. In general the participants were aware of the risks of different sexual practices and partner combinations, although responses also revealed stereotypic and motivational biases.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of College Student Development|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|