Feeling Good in Your Own Skin: The Influence of Complimentary Sexual Stereotypes on Risky Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors in a Community Sample of African American Women

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although negative racial stereotypes may affect the mental and physical health of African Americans, little research has examined the influence of positive or complimentary racial stereotypes on such outcomes. More specifically, this study explored the relationship between African American women's endorsement of complimentary stereotypes about their sexuality and attitudes/behaviors that have been associated with sexual risk. Data were gathered from 206 African American women as part of the Black Women in the Study of Epidemics project. Multivariate regression models were used to examine associations between women's endorsement of complimentary stereotypes about their sexuality and selected sex-related attitudes and behaviors. Participants' endorsement of complimentary sexual stereotypes was significantly positively associated with beliefs that having sex without protection would strengthen their relationship (B =.28, SE =.10, p <.01) and that they could use drugs and always make healthy choices about using protection (B =.31, SE =.09, p <.01). Significant positive associations were also found between complimentary sexual stereotypes and the number of casual sexual partners women reported in the past year (B =.29, SE =.15, p =.05) as well as their willingness to have sex in exchange for money or drugs during that time (B =.78, OR = 2.18, p <.05). These findings suggest that endorsement of complimentary sexual stereotypes by African American women can lead to increased risk behavior, particularly relating to possible infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalWomen and Health
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received September 15, 2011; revised November 9, 2012; accepted November 10, 2012. This research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA022967, PI: Oser; K01-21309 PI: Oser). Address correspondence to Jamieson L. Duvall, PhD, Department of Behavioral Science, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky, 643 Maxwelton Court, Lexington, KY 40506-0350. E-mail: jlduva2@uky.edu

Keywords

  • African American women
  • HIV risk
  • sexuality
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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