Illness transmission mode and perceiver personality: Factors affecting stigmatized perceptions of patients and sexual illness

Gabie E. Smith1, Christopher S. Nave1
1Elon University, United States
Cite this article:  Smith, G., & Nave, C. (2007). Illness transmission mode and perceiver personality: Factors affecting stigmatized perceptions of patients and sexual illness. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 35, 853-860.

Volume 35 Issue 6 | e1618 | Published: July 2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.6.853

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Past field research has demonstrated the devastating impact of illness stigma on patient populations; experimental studies have identified specific illness characteristics that influence stigmatization and social rejection of patients. The current study used a quasi-experimental design to investigate the influence of participant erotophobia-erotophilia (Fisher, Byrne, & White, 1983) and illness transmission (nonsexual, sexual) on perceptions of illness and patients. Sexual illness transmission led to significantly more negative perceptions of the illness and patient. A significant Erotophobia-Erotophilia × Nonsexual-Sexual Transmission interaction influenced participants’ social rejection of the patient. Specifically, erotophobes socially rejected patients with the sexually transmitted illness more than patients with the nonsexual illness.
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