Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 381–391

Sexual practices of heterosexual Asian-American young adults: Implications for risk of HIV infection


  • Susan D. Cochran
    • California State University
  • Vickie M. Mays
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Los Angeles
  • Laurie Leung
    • California State University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01542618

Cite this article as:
Cochran, S.D., Mays, V.M. & Leung, L. Arch Sex Behav (1991) 20: 381. doi:10.1007/BF01542618


Epidemiologic patterns of reported AIDS cases suggest that at present Asian Americans in the United States are an ethnic minority group at lower risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection than blacks, Hispanics, or whites. Yet little is known empirically about the sexual behaviors of Asian Americans. The present study explores rates of sexual activity and patterns of sexual behavior in a sample of young, unmarried, heterosexual Asian Americans. Results suggest that previously reported sexual conservatism within this ethnic group may be limited to the initiation of sexual activity. Once sexually active, behaviors appear to be similar to their non-Asian counterparts and facilitative of HIV infection should the virus become widely distributed within the young, heterosexual population. This underscores the need for HIV prevention interventions directed toward this ethnic minority group despite current low rates of HIV infection.

Key words

Asian Americanssexual behaviorAIDS prevention
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991