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Journal Article

Sexual Decision Making by Inner City Black Adolescent Males: A Focus Group Study

Sonia Gilmore, John DeLamater and David Wagstaff
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 33, No. 4 (1996), pp. 363-371
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813288
Page Count: 9
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Sexual Decision Making by Inner City Black Adolescent Males: A Focus Group Study
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Abstract

This research was designed to illuminate the cognitive and emotional bases of the sexual decisions made by young Black men. It was guided by the assumption that the Black male's understanding and expression of his sexuality reflects a socially constructed interpretation of who he is. Specifically, we believe that sexual decision making is guided by sexual scripts. Focus groups were conducted with 27 Black young men ages 15 to 19. Analyses of the transcripts of these discussions identified four sets of beliefs that are related to sexual decisions: what it means to be a man, good and bad things about sexual intimacy, beliefs about condoms, and beliefs about AIDS. We also identified seven concerns in our analyses: (a) good girls, bad girls; (b) asking for sex; (c) "running the game"; (d) being "hooked up"; (e) conflicts with other men; (f) the relation between sex and love; and (g) male roles and fatherhood. Quotations from the participants illustrate each of these concerns. The participants were asked at the end of each session to suggest ways that young men like themselves might be encouraged to protect their sexual health. We concluded that these young men view sexual behavior, sexual partners, and condom use as elements within a complex script that governs heterosexual interactions.

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