A number of changes have been made as suggested by the reviewers: The abstract conclusion has been changed as suggested. The introduction has been expanded along the lines suggested. Two new online files have been added: Concurrency implicit association test.
S2 Figures and words used in concurrency implicit association test. Differences in C-IAT by gender are reported.
The discussion has been rewritten to make a number of points clearer. A higher prevalence of sexual partner concurrency, were an individual has a series of overlapping sexual partners at once, is one of the factors implicated in the genesis of generalized HIV epidemics in Southern and Eastern Africa 1 — 3. Qualitative research from the region has argued that a tolerance of concurrency plays an important role in generating high concurrency rates 4 — 9.
A quantitative analysis of South African survey data, however, found that most men and women disapproved of concurrency 9. This discrepancy may be partly explained by the way that the social desirability bias
Implicit association test sexuality and reproduction affect the accuracy of self-reported data pertaining to socially sensitive topics such as sexual norms 10 — Respondents to surveys asking about attitudes to sexual partner concurrency may consider that the interviewer holds negative attitudes towards concurrency.
They may therefore bias their reported attitudes towards concurrency towards that of the interviewer. Measures of implicit cognition assess cognitive processes less available to introspection and are thus less affected by these problems. Several studies have found implicit measures to be better predictors of behavior than explicit measures in these sensitive domains 1013 — In a previous study, we developed a concurrency implicit association test C-IAT and tested it on a sample of Belgian students The students revealed a strong implicit preference for monogamy as opposed to concurrency.
No differences in C-IAT were found between men and women, but men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women were found to have a somewhat weaker implicit preference for monogamy than heterosexual men and women In this study, we compare the results from this Belgian study with those obtained from a similar sample of South African students.
They argued that if one finds a bimodal distribution in behavior 'A' in population 'B' compared to a normal distribution in a comparison population 'C' then Implicit association test sexuality and reproduction finding would be compatible with existence of a core-group with higher risk behaviour in population 'B' being responsible for some of the differences in behavior 'A' between the two groups.
The concept of a 'core-group' is well established in the HIV field and typically refers to a subpopulation with a high level of sexual network connectivity conferred by features such as partner concurrency and rate of partner change that contributes disproportionately to the spread of HIV in that population Implicit Association Tests IATs are reaction-time measures that tap implicit associations without requiring conscious introspection Our C-IAT consisted of five different blocks.
The full C-IATs as well as all the words and images used in their construction can be obtained from Kenyon et al. After completing the IAT the students were asked to complete a questionnaire pertaining to their sexual behavior and explicit attitudes to concurrency.
These questions variables they are intended to define included: How many sex partners do you have? Point prevalence concurrency ; Where there any other times in your life when you "Implicit association test sexuality and reproduction" more than one sex partner at a time?
Three questions investigating explicit attitudes towards concurrency were assessed using a scale from 1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree: Liberalist concurrency ; If my main partner has other sex partners, it is okay for me to have other partners as well? The questions used in this questionnaire are available from Kenyon et al.
In both countries all students at the two participating Universities were eligible for study inclusion. In Belgium they were recruited via an email sent to the entire student body. This was not in South Africa and thus students were recruited via posters and word of mouth.
All participants were tested independently either in the Department of Psychology or in a secure and quiet room at the Rhodes University library. After they had signed the informed consent form, students were first asked to perform the C-IAT behind a computer in the above mentioned locations.
After students completed the C-IAT, they proceeded to answer the explicit, paper-and-pencil questionnaire measures. The entire protocol was conducted online.
Students received a link to the study website via the recruitment e-mail. The first step on the study website was signing the informed consent form. They then completed the C-IAT, and after this the explicit questionnaire.
For both student populations, the IAT and explicit measures took between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. Dscores of the IAT were calculated according to the standard protocol suggested by Greenwald et al.
The minimum response time was ms, the maximum response time was ms. Any responses below this interval were omitted while any responses above this interval were recoded to ms. Incorrect answers got a penalty of ms.
We compare the distributions of C-IAT Dscores scores between Belgium and South Africa visually using histograms and statistically using t-tests for independent samples. Chi-squared and t-tests were used to test differences between categorical and continuous variables. All analyses were repeated stratified by gender. There were differences by gender in self-reported concurrency and explicit but not implicit attitudes towards concurrency.
These differences were, however, congruent between Belgium and South Africa and did not affect the results. As a result, only unstratified results are reported. Sexual norms and behaviors such as concurrency Implicit association test sexuality and reproduction been shown to vary between different sexual orientations 1725 — The populations were defined according to self-reported sexuality by country and gender.
A total of students in Belgium and 70 in South Africa participated. The demographic characteristics of the populations are detailed in Table 1. The South African students reported more sexual partners in the past year than the Belgians mean 3. The differences in implicit associations between countries were larger than those for explicit associations: The association between extrinsic attitudes and concurrency was not statistically significant concealed concurrency: The IAT results for the study populations in South Africa and Belgium were both normally distributed with a similar variance.
This variation of distributions between different populations via right or left shifting the mean value but retaining the same variance mimics the findings of Rose and others for a wide variety of physical and mental health attributes and behaviors, including number of sex partners 17 — Similarly, large differences in implicit cognition via shifting the mean value whilst retaining the same variance have been found between different groups in other studies 1223 One 34 country study, for example, found large differences in mean implicit gender-science stereotype scores between countries Of interest these mean IAT scores were found to be better predictors of national sex differences in math and science achievement than corresponding explicit attitudes.
Culturally determined differences in implicit attitudes are thought Implicit association test sexuality and reproduction emerge during childhood or early adolescence as individuals participate in the custom complexes of their cultures 1128 Historical and anthropological analyses suggest that the shift from polygamy to monogamy in Southern Africa over the last years did not reduce the number of partners men had.