The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3074.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - Board 5

Abstract #42312

Safe sex and the African American college woman

Faith E. Foreman, DrPH, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, 3855 Holman GAR 104-R, Houston, TX 77204-6015, (713) 743-8639,

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand and describe the safe sex decision-making processes of a group of African-American college women. Methods: The study participants consisted of women aged 19 to 33 who were full-time students attending a four-year university in Southeast, Texas. The women self-identified as having been sexually active with at least one male partner within the past year. Semi-structured in-depth interviews lasting approximately 1.5 hours provided data. Results: Qualitative analysis of the interviews and field notes revealed that women employed both emotional and philosophical strategies to determine their safe sex behavior. These strategies range from assessing a partner's physical capabilities and appearance, to establishment of trust and length of the dating relationship. Women also based their safer sex decisions on a "self-defined" sexual hierarchy. Implications: The implications for intervention programs that are targeted at increasing condom use and risk reduction are discussed in light of these findings.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the learner will be able to

Keywords: African American, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Women's Health: An View Across the Lifespan

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA