"Risks both known and unknown": A qualitative method to assess the role of situation in HIV/STD risk and prevention

William N. Elwood, Kathryn Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The idea of situation has gained increased attention in HIV/STD prevention research and practice. In the context of prevention, situation does not simply connote setting or place but also incorporates meanings people attached to the physical setting and how the complex interrelation of setting, meaning, and behaviors influences decisions regarding sexual behaviors and prevention measures. Kenneth Burke's pentadic analysis provides a means to illuminate how situation influences decisions regarding sexual behaviors and risk taking. This manuscript describes the pentadic method, its application to situation and sexual risk behaviors, and its utility through content analysis of transcribed interviews (or texts) with men who patronize bathhouses, bathhouse staff members, and release forms from bathhouse establishments in three geographic areas. In this case, the analysis reveals that bathhouse patrons and policies perceive bathhouses as situations that privilege expedient sexual release rather than individuals and over how those releases occur. This predominant perspective impedes, but does not preclude, risk reduction. The authors provide recommendations for promoting condom use for anal sex in the bathhouse setting as well as for the utility of pentadic analysis in related research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

Keywords

  • Bathhouses
  • Condom use
  • Dramatism
  • HIV/STD
  • Kenneth Burke
  • MSM
  • Pentadic analysis
  • Situational theory

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