Main Article Content
Past field research has demonstrated the devastating impact of illness stigma on patient populations; experimental studies have identified specific illness characteristics that influence stigmatization and social rejection of patients. The current study used a quasi-experimental design to investigate the influence of participant erotophobia-erotophilia (Fisher, Byrne, & White, 1983) and illness transmission (nonsexual, sexual) on perceptions of illness and patients. Sexual illness transmission led to significantly more negative perceptions of the illness and patient. A significant Erotophobia-Erotophilia × Nonsexual-Sexual Transmission interaction influenced participants’ social rejection of the patient. Specifically, erotophobes socially rejected patients with the sexually transmitted illness more than patients with the nonsexual illness.