An implication of impurity: The impact of feminine honor on human papillomavirus (HPV) screenings and the decision to authorize daughter’s HPV vaccinations.

Stephen Foster, Mauricio Carvallo, Jongwon Lee, Rachel Fisher, Haley Traxler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and their relationship with cervical cancer, it is of high interest to understand the processes that help (or hinder) women to receive HPV screenings. Unfortunately, prior research has demonstrated that due to the sexually transmitted nature of the infection, many women report a stigma of sexual impurity or promiscuity regarding HPV screening, which may prevent some women from seeking such screenings. While many women will experience stigma that prevents HPV screenings, this stigma was expected to be particularly strong in women from cultures of honor, cultures that place strong emphasis on the sexual purity and fidelity of women. Furthermore, we expected the endorsement of feminine honor to influence mothers’ resistance to vaccinating their daughters. In a sample of 257 women aged 30–45, feminine honor ideology endorsement was shown to decrease the likelihood of HPV screening intentions—this link was explained by participant’s beliefs that HPV screening would imply sexual impurity, along with the expected shame and embarrassment they would experience by receiving an HPV screening. Feminine honor beliefs also significantly predicted decreased support for vaccination of participants’ daughters, due to fear it might in some way endorse sexual promiscuity. These findings not only illustrate a cultural factor that heightens the stigma surrounding HPV screening, which may provide a barrier to care in honor-endorsing women, but also indicate a factor that may prevent women from having their children vaccinated against HPV. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-227
Number of pages12
JournalStigma and Health
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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