Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Robert W. Winslow, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Letters, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.
AIDS, FRAIDS, and Quarantine: Student Responses to Pro-Quarantine Initiatives in California
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 19, Issue 17, pages 1453–1478, December 1989
How to Cite
Winslow, R. W., Rumbaut, R. G. and Hwang, J. (1989), AIDS, FRAIDS, and Quarantine: Student Responses to Pro-Quarantine Initiatives in California. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19: 1453–1478. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1989.tb01458.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
In the literature on AIDS, only a few empirical social reactivist studies of heterosexuals have been done, probably due to the preoccupation with explaining the incidence of AIDS among high-risk groups. The following study of 563 students enrolled in a large Southern California university adds to the heterosexual student literature by operationalizing an important research variable, FRAIDS, and by embarking on explanatory analysis of attitude and self-reported behavior. FRAIDS, which we will define as the fear of getting AIDS from casual contact sources, may be helpful in explaining both high-risk sexual behavior among heterosexuals and pro-quarantine sentiment. However, only the subsets of the FRAIDS variable (FRAIDS-dry and FRAIDS-wet) proved explanatory. FRAIDS-dry (fear of HIV infection from dry sources) proved significant in explaining sexual activity, while FRAIDS-wet (fear of HIV infection from wet casual contact sources) was found significant in explaining pro-quarantine sentiment. The converse was not true. Using homophobia as a control variable, homophobia was found to overshadow FRAIDS-wet for males but FRAIDS-wet rivaled homophobia in predicting pro-quarantine sentiment for females. Growing quarantine sentiment was noted among the students, as the survey took place during two different time periods (Fall of 1986 (N= 375) and Spring of 1988 (N= 188)), essentially before and after the actual vote in November 1986 on a pro-quarantine initiative (Proposition 64) that appeared on the California ballot. This apparent increase in pro-quarantine sentiment among students (and voters) highlights the need for attention to homophobia as well as detailed discussion of the fear of wet casual contact in AIDS education.