Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barbara S. Fuhrmann


The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the impact of the AIDS crisis on gay men relative to self-concept, intimacy, and sexual behavior changes. Additionally, this research examined the sources, amount, and accuracy of AIDS information currently available to gay men in a middle-sized, urban area.;The sample for the study consisted entirely of adult, self-identified gay men who were anonymous volunteers recruited through a networking process. The research design for this status study was a within group comparison which utilized non-probability, purposive sampling procedures.;It was concluded that gay men, participating in this study, utilize a wide variety of mainstream and gay oriented information sources and that they have extensive and accurate information on AIDS. It was concluded also that while gay men's self-concepts and personal adjustment have not been significantly affected by the AIDS crisis, intimacy levels have increased and sexual behavior changes have occurred for a large majority of the sample. The investigation identified further a significant relationship between accuracy of AIDS knowledge and the extent of change in sexual practices.;Further study is needed in this area making use of a more diverse sample so as to increase the external validity of the study's findings. Additionally, the possibility of homophobia as perceived by gay men relative to family, church, and professional service providers needs to be explored. Finally, the effect of the AIDS crisis on gay male relationships merits close examination.



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