Safer Sex in Social Context: Individualistic and Relational Determinants of AIDS-Preventive Behavior Among Gay Men1

Authors

  • Ernest M. M. de Vroome,

    1. Research Institute for Psychology and Health Utrecht University Utrecht. The Netherlands
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    • 2

      Ernest M. M. de Vroome is now at TNO Work and Employment, Hoofdorp, The Netherlands.

  • Wolfgang Stroebe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Institute for Psychology and Health Utrecht University Utrecht. The Netherlands
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  • Theo G. M. Sandfort,

    1. Research Institute for Psychology and Health Utrecht University Utrecht. The Netherlands
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  • John B. F. de WIT,

    1. Research Institute for Psychology and Health Utrecht University Utrecht. The Netherlands
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  • Godfried J. P. van Griensven

    1. Research Institute for Psychology and Health Utrecht University Utrecht, The Netherlands and Department of Public Health Amsterdam Municipal Health Service Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • 1

    This research was supported by the Netherlands Foundation for Preventive Medicine Grant Number 28-2607 and was commissioned by the Netherlands Program Committee for AIDS Research Project Number 94.049. We gratefully thank the men in the Amsterdam Cohort Study for their longterm participation.

  • 3

    Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wolfgang Stroebe, Research Institute for Psychology and Health, Department of Social Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, P. O. Box 80140, NL-3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

This longitudinal study of gay men examined safer sex within steady relationships and assessed whether relationship quality influenced safer sex with casual partners. The theoretical frameworks of Rusbult's (1980) investment model of romantic relationships and of Ajzen's (1988, 1991) model of planned behavior were used. Unprotected intercourse with a steady partner was practiced significantly more often when both partners in a steady relationship were seronegative and had an explicit agreement to keep it safe with casual partners. However, there was no indication that explicit agreements reduced the occurrence of unsafe extrarelational sex. Both the investment model of romantic relationships and the model of planned behavior were successful in accounting for sexual risk behavior outside the relationship.

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