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There is a growing body of research in the United States that points towards men being less likely than women to seek help from health professionals. The effect of gender on health-seeking behaviors is therefore crucial in understanding how best to prevent, screen for and control illness conditions. This senior project examined how gender identity and gender role attitudes affect Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing behavior among a college population. To further investigate this relationship, the Health Belief Model (HBM)—a cognitive behavioral model often used to predict health behavior—was used. Two hundred and thirty students from the campuses of Bard College and Florida Atlantic University participated in an online survey. No significant sex difference in testing behavior was found between men and women. Some components of HBM however predicted STI testing behaviors. A positive correlation was found between perceived susceptibility and times tested as well as intention to test within the next six months. Perceived benefits and perceived norms were also positively correlated with intention to test within the next six months. Furthermore, no significant interactions were found between gender and components of HBM to predict testing behaviors. Gender however interacted significantly with gender role attitudes to predict testing behavior. Our results indicate that college’s health programs should focus on increasing perceived susceptibility to STIs, perceived benefits and social norms to promote STI testing among students.
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Singh, Yasho-Victoria Gayatri-Calla, "Exploring Gender Differences in STI Testing Behavior of College Students Using the Health Belief Model" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 336.
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