ERIC Number: EJ872355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 121
Understanding Women's Risk for HIV Infection Using Social Dominance Theory and the Four Bases of Gendered Power
Rosenthal, Lisa; Levy, Sheri R.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v34 n1 p21-35 Mar 2010
Theoretical models to date have fallen short of accounting for the alarming worldwide rates of HIV infection in women through heterosexual contact. In this article, social dominance theory and the four bases of gendered power--force, resource control, social obligations, and consensual ideologies--are used to organize and explain international research findings on women's risk of contracting HIV from male sexual partners. Research suggests that the four bases of gendered power contribute to women having less power than men in heterosexual relationships, resulting in challenges to preventing HIV transmission from male partners. Social dominance theory also recognizes the intersections among various group-based hierarchies, such as race and class, thereby helping explain why women of color and low-income women are disproportionately affected by HIV. The intergroup focus of social dominance theory points to gender inequality as increasing men's risk of HIV infection as well, and the construct of social dominance orientation helps to explain individual differences in HIV risk behavior. We discuss the ways the current theoretical framework can prove useful in helping to guide future research addressing the connections between power and HIV risk, including exploring mediators and links to other theoretical models. We also discuss the implications the framework has for intervention efforts aimed at reducing HIV rates worldwide, such as supporting efforts at increasing women's representation in hierarchy-enhancing positions, incorporating empowerment issues into current interventions, promoting use of female condoms, and targeting heterosexual men for interventions.
Descriptors: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Females, Models, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Ideology, Males, At Risk Persons, Social Theories, Gender Issues, Power Structure, Social Influences, Sexuality, Interpersonal Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A