A Door to HIV-Prevention Interventions: How Female-Targeted Materials Can Enhance Female Participation1


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    This research was facilitated by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K02-MH01861 and R01-NR08325). We thank Allison Earl for her comments and for suggestions regarding the data.

Kathleen C. McCulloch or Dolores Albarracín, Department of Psychology, 603 East Daniel Street, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820. E-mail: kcmcc@uiuc.edu or dalbarra@uiuc.edu


The aim of this study was to examine the influence of gender on exposure to gender-tailored HIV-prevention brochures. During an unobtrusive observation of participants' reading of brochures, both men and women were likely to avoid gender-mismatched brochures. However, women were more likely to selectively approach gender-matched brochures over gender-neutral brochures than were men. Furthermore, exposure to the female-targeted brochure predicted accepting an HIV-prevention video. This pattern was only the case for females and not for males or for the male-targeted brochure. This finding implies that the gender-tailored brochures are more useful for women than for men, and may open the door to other materials designed with preventive objectives.