Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 159–169 | Cite as

Symptom disclosure to male and female physicians: Effects of sex, physical attractiveness, and symptom type

  • Jerald W. Young
Article

Abstract

Seventy-five subjects (50 male and 25 female) rated their willingness to disclose symptoms of a personal nature, general nature, and mental illness nature to male and female physicians whose photographs had been pretested as being either physically attractive or physically unattractive. Increased willingness to disclose was related to (1) the more physically attractive physicians, (2) general as compared to personal or mental symptoms, (3) same-sex match-ups between patient and physician, especially when (4) disclosing personal or mental illness symptoms or concerns. The sex of the physician per sehad no influence on patients' willingness to disclose symptoms. Implications are drawn concerning the patient's assignment to or choice of physician based on sex. Patient education and training in symptom disclosure as well as physician's skill building in facilitating symptom disclosure are also indicated.

Key words

female physicians male physicians effects of physician's attractiveness symptom disclosure 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerald W. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of FloridaGainesville

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