Young Urban Women’s Patterns of Unprotected Sex with Men Engaging in HIV Risk Behaviors
- 203 Downloads
This study explored reasons women engaged in unprotected sex with male partners they distrusted and perceived to engage in HIV risk behaviors. Seven focus groups were held in public housing and neighborhood centers in the urban Northeast with 43 African American and Latina women. Content analysis was conducted by open and axial coding. Barrett’s theory of power as knowing participation in change and sex script theory guided interpretation. Results indicated that Patterns of Unprotected Sex is a usual practice to maintain hope, sensuality, intimacy, strategic gain, and stability with a male partner. In low power sex scripts the salient risks of HIV were buried under an awareness of oneself as having to satisfy a man and accept cheating. High power sex scripts involved women’s awareness of themselves as worthy of self care with diverse choices. High power scripts can be integrated into normative sex scripts as exemplars of more powerful ways of being and acting to reduce HIV risk.
KeywordsWomen HIV sexual risk Focus groups Power Sex scripts Sexual pressure Trust
This study was funded by a RO3 grant, NR009349, to the first author from the National Institute of Nursing Research and a Busch Biomedical Research Grant from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The authors gratefully acknowledge the women who shared their stories and those among them who practice and inspire others with their high power scripts.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2006). HIV/AIDS surveillance in women. Retrieved October 30, 2006, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/surveillance.htm.
- Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. C. (1999). Doing qualitative research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Emmers-Sommer, T. M., & Allen, M. (2005). Safer sex in personal relationships: The role of sexual scripts in HIV infection and prevention. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.Google Scholar
- Fiske, S. T. (1982). Schema-triggered affect: Applications to social perception. In S. T. Fiske (Ed.), Affect and cognition: The seventeenth annual Carnegie symposium on cognition (pp. 55–78). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Fiske, S. T. (2004). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
- Hynie, M., Lydon, J. E., Cote, S., & Weiner, S. (1998). Relational sexual scripts and women’s condom use: The importance of internalized norms. Journal of Sex Research, 35, 370–380.Google Scholar
- King, J. L. (2004). On the down low: A journey into the lives of “straight” Black men who sleep with men. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
- Krahe, B. (2000). Sexual scripts and heterosexual aggression. In T. E. H. M. Trautner (Ed.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp.273–292). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
- Metts, S., & Spitzberg, B. H. (1996). Sexual communication in interpersonal contexts: A script-based approach. In B. R. Burleson (Ed.), Communication yearbook (Vol. 19, pp. 49–91). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Morgan, D. L. (1997). Focus groups as qualitative research (2nd ed.). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
- Singer, J. L., & Salovey, P. (1991). Organized knowledge structure and personality: Person schemas, self schemas, prototypes, and scripts. In M. J. Horowitz (Ed.), Person schemas and maladaptive interpersonal patterns (pp. 33–79). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. A., & Kirby, L. D. (2000). Consequences require antecedents: Toward a process model of emotion elicitation. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Feeling and thinking: The role of affect in social cognition (2nd ed., pp. 83–106). NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Sobo, E. J. (1995). Choosing unsafe sex: AIDS risk denial among disadvantaged women. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar