Original Paper

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 179-188

First online:

Gender Power Control, Sexual Experiences, Safer Sex Practices, and Potential HIV Risk Behaviors Among Young Asian-American Women

  • Hyeouk Chris HahmAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, Boston University Email author 
  • , Jieha LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Social Welfare, Soongsil University
  • , Kathryn RoughAffiliated withDepartment of Health Sciences, Boston University
  • , Steffanie A. StrathdeeAffiliated withDivision of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego

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We examined the prevalence of three domains of sexual behaviors among young Asian-American women: sexual experiences, safer sex practices, and potential HIV risk behaviors. We also investigated the impact of gender power control on these domains. Among sexually experienced women, 51% reported using condoms during their most recent sex act, 63% reported inconsistent condom use, and 18% reported ever having forced sex. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that women’s perceived lower relationship power control was not associated with vaginal sex or safer sex practices, but it was powerfully associated with forced sex and all three potential HIV risk behaviors. This study demonstrates that control within young Asian-American women’s intimate relationships exerts different associations depending on the type of sexual behavior. The application of the Theory of Gender and Power should be employed with prudence when designing HIV interventions for this population.


HIV risk behaviors Condom use Gender power relationship Asian-American women Asian-Americans HIV/AIDS Asian culture