Asian Male Personality Characteristics and the Risk of Infection With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Larry Gates

Advisor Department



One hundred and five Asian males, residing in the United States, were questioned about sexual behaviors that are high-risk with regard to HIV infection. Risky behavior was found to be related to certain demographic and personality characteristics. An individual's level of sexual sensation seeking was found to be the best predictor in regards to unsafe behavior, accounting for just over 18% of the total variance of unsafe behavior. Individuals that scored highest on the sexual sensation seeking scale were more likely to engage in unprotected vaginal intercourse. The following variables were also found to be significant predictors in combination with each prior variable(s): age accounted for 24.9% of the overall variance, with older individuals engaging in a higher rate of unsafe behavior, marital status accounted for 31% of overall variance, with individuals in a dating relationship or marriage having the highest rate of risk behavior, time spent in the United States accounted for 32.5% of the overall variance, with those individuals having spent more time in the United States engaging in higher rates of unsafe behavior; ethnicity accounted for 34.5% of overall variance, with those individuals from more Westernized countries, and countries with a high rate of HIV-infection practicing a high amount of unsafe behavior, non-sexual sensation seeking level accounted for 35.9% of overall variance, with those individuals scoring higher on engaging in non-sexual sensation seeking behaviors as engaging in higher unsafe sexual behaviors; and the level of erotophilia accounted for 37.2% of the overall variance, with individuals that scored highest in erotophilia as engaging in more unsafe sexual behavior. These findings indicated that, for this population, personality and demographic variables can be used to predict later unsafe behavior.