Gender roles, sociosexuality, and sexual behavior among US Black women



This study examined the relationship between gender roles and sociosexuality (an individual difference variable describing attitudes about sexual permissiveness and promiscuity), and their predictive pattern of HIV-related sexual risk behaviors. A geographically diverse sample of 275 adult, heterosexual Black women (mean age = 33.60 years), participated in a self-administered survey. Significant relationships were found between feminine traits and sociosexuality, and between sociosexuality and four of the five risky sexual behavior variables. Neither masculine nor feminine gender roles were related to any risky sexual behavior variables. Sociosexuality emerged as an important correlate that requires further exploration of its relationship to the attitudes and behaviors of Black women, and its potential relationship to HIV risk-related sexual behavior. The need for more attention to psychosocial variables, and consideration of context, cultural norms, and values is discussed as an important undertaking in order to garner an accurate picture of sexual risk behavior.

Publication Title

Health psychology and behavioral medicine