ERIC Number: ED296208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-2
Reference Count: N/A
The Correlation between Homosexuality and an AIDS Diagnosis: Is It Perceived or Real?
Triplet, Rodney G.; And Others
Prior research on observer perceptions of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients has concluded that there is a strong tendency to assume that homosexuals are patients of AIDS while heterosexuals are patients of anything but AIDS. This study sought to determine if there was a greater tendency to diagnose AIDS among female homosexuals than among female heterosexuals. Students (N=180) in an introductory psychology course were presented with hypothetical case descriptions of female patients who varied on their sexual preference, and who displayed symptoms suggestive of two different diseases. The subjects then chose a single diagnosis for the patient and rated patient responsibility and interactional desirability. Support was found for an availability heuristic model of diagnostic choice. Also, support was found for derogation on the basis of sexual preference and disease seriousness. Lesbian patients were viewed as more responsible and having less interactional desirability. Finally, symptoms indicative of more serious diseases reduced perceived interactional desirability. Perceptual bias needs to be further investigated in order to develop AIDS education materials that will be effective with the general public. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (34th, New Orleans, LA, March 31-April 2, 1988).