This thesis examines whether knowledge and concern about AIDS has an impact on college women's sexual behavior and choices. The goal of such research is to predict certain behavioral changes that will occur as a result of AIDS, and to explain why some college students are more likely than others to change their sexual behavior. Much research has indicated that college students have not significantly changed their sexual behavior, while other research shows that college students have taken preventive measures to avoid contracting the AIDS virus. Finally, many studies examine possible reasons why the young adult population may be resisting behavioral change. The social construction of AIDS will be examined in order to understand the social reaction to AIDS. Through in-depth interviews with twenty-six women, questions concerning metaphors and theories of AIDS will be asked to determine whether these metaphors are misleading and actually shape our attitudes and perceptions of AIDS. The principles of the Health Belief Model (Janz and Becker, 19 8 4) will also be used to predict the likelihood of adopting behavior to avoid the transmission of the AIDS virus. Future research is recommended among college students in order to determine the actual reasons why some students are reluctant to change their behavior in response to AIDS in an effort to create effective education programs necessary to slow the spread of the AIDS virus .


Horowitz, Sheryl


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1993 Juliann W. Hench