, Volume 60, Issue 9-10, pp 669-681
Date: 07 Jan 2009

Patient–Provider Communication About Sexual Health: The Relationship with Gender, Age, Gender-Stereotypical Beliefs, and Perceptions of Communication Inappropriateness

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This investigation examined patient–provider communication about sexual health related to gender and age. Data were collected from 277 individuals, aged 18–60, via convenience and snowball sampling at a large university in southwestern United States. Results indicate women are more proactive about their sexual health than men and tested for STDs more frequently. Women, more than men, initiate discussions with their healthcare provider about sexual health matters and healthcare providers are more likely to initiate communication about such matters with women than men. Men hold stronger gender-stereotypical beliefs than women, are less likely to initiate conversations about sexual issues with their provider, and believe sexual discussions with their partner are inappropriate. Age relates to sexual activity initiation and perceived STD risk.

An earlier version of the paper was presented at the 2008 Western States Communication Conference and Danielle Jackson was very helpful.