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Health Educ Behav. 2000 Oct;27(5):539-65.

Application of the theory of gender and power to examine HIV-related exposures, risk factors, and effective interventions for women.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30324, USA.


Developed by Robert Connell, the theory of gender and power is a social structural theory based on existing philosophical writings of sexual inequality and gender and power imbalance. According to the theory of gender and power, there are three major social structures that characterize the gendered relationships between men and women: the sexual division of labor, the sexual division of power, and the structure of cathexis. The aim of this article is to apply an extended version of the theory of gender and power to examine the exposures, social/behavioral risk factors, and biological properties that increase women's vulnerability for acquiring HIV. Subsequently, the authors review several public health level HIV interventions aimed at reducing women's HIV risk. Employing the theory of gender and power among women marshals new kinds of data, asks new and broader questions with regard to women and their risk of HIV, and, most important, creates new options for prevention.

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