228388 What do they expect? Examining trust and monogamy among African-American inner-city male and female adolescents

Monday, November 8, 2010

Senna Towner, MS , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
M. Margaret Dolcini, PhD , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Gary W. Harper, PhD, MPH , Master of Public Health Program, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
The burden of HIV among sexually active African American adolescents is significant, and when compared to other races/ethnicities, disproportionately high. Adolescent HIV prevention should consider beliefs and expectations about sex, which develop early in life and are influenced by social environment. This study examined beliefs and expectations about romantic trust and monogamy in the study sample. Relationships that lack trust or monogamy are likely to place youth at higher risk for HIV/STIs. Trained same-gender interviewers conducted in-depth, face-to-face interviews with 13 male and 15 female African Americans ages 14-21 living in high-risk San Francisco neighborhoods. Interviews focused on sexual roles in current and past relationships and were recorded, transcribed, and entered into MaxQDA. Themes were identified through cross-case and gender-based comparative analyses. To ensure reliability, a second reader coded 20% of the transcripts. Three primary themes emerged: (1) adolescents do not always expect trust or monogamy from their sex partner(s); (2) adolescents sometimes believe that their sex partner(s) are committed to them even when they are knowingly in a non-monogamous relationship; and (3) expectation and beliefs about trust and monogamy vary across gender. For example, females expect infidelity from their male sex partner(s) and males expect monogamy from their female sex partner(s). Inner-city African American youth who proclaim trust in and commitment to their sex partner(s) should not be regarded as low priority for HIV prevention programs. Programs may want to address gender differences in relationship expectations, and negotiation and communication of expectations.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the disproportionate burden of HIV/STIs among African American adolescents. 2) Discuss the need to consider beliefs and expectations that are shaped early in life when designing HIV prevention programs. 3) Identify themes related to trust and monogamy beliefs and expectations among African American male and female adolescents. 4) Demonstrate gender differences in beliefs and expectations about romantic trust and monogamy between males and females. 5) Describe the importance of including the concepts of trust and commitment in HIV prevention programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a doctoral student in public health who, based on my interest in the prevention of HIV among special populations, developed this project and analyzed the data. I am knowledgeable about the contents of the material.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.