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Family Characteristics and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Black Men in the United States

Rosalie J. Bakken and Mary Winter
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Vol. 34, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2002), pp. 252-258
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/3097824
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3097824
Page Count: 7
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Family Characteristics and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Black Men in the United States
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Abstract

CONTEXT: Past research indicates that family characteristics are associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors in adolescence and adulthood. Because the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases is higher among black males than among males of other races, it is important to understand factors associated with sexual risk in this group. METHODS: Data from 1,125 black men participating in the 1991 National Survey of Men were used in structural equation modeling to examine the association of individual and family characteristics with age at sexual initiation and the lifetime number of sexual partners. RESULTS: Men whose mothers worked were likely to have first intercourse at a younger age than others (beta, -.104), whereas those raised by both parents were likely to delay sexual initiation (.072) and to have fewer partners during their lifetime (-.062). Men who were married or had had first intercourse at an older age were likely to have a lower total number of partners than others (-.297 and -.369, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: School and community programs should provide culturally appropriate and accessible activities for black youth, and should reach black males early, while they are still in elementary school. Programming targeted at parents may help them learn skills for communicating effectively with children about sexuality-related issues.

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