Negative effects of concurrency among African American Women Sex is an exceptional wide them that influences the human social life. It’s something that Is rarely escapable because it’s everywhere. Due to its accessibility, many young teens are engaging more in sex, especially teens in the African American community. In the research article “Sexual concurrency among young African American Women” by Dreena G. Waldrop Valverde, Teaniese L. Davis, Jessica M. Sales, Eve S. Rose, Gina M. Wingood and Ralph J. DiClemente which was published in Psychology, Health and Medicine in 2013, discusses how young African American women are affected by HIV/Aids and other STDs and engage in more sexual currency than any other race. The purpose of this study was to recognize individual and partner level characteristics that are related to sexual concurrency among high-risk African American women. The reasoning behind this study is that because of relationship influences, cultural factors and physical environment African American women are targeted of sexual concurrency. The authors don’t go in depth about the risk factors but its many things that attribute to African American women being more exposed to sex. African American women being more exposed to sex comes with many adversities. African American women from ages 15-19 had the highest rates of Chlamydia compared to any other age group or sex (Taylor and Francis 2013). Sexual networks and availability clarifies this racial disparity.
Sexual networks with sexual relationships that overlap in time allow faster disease transmission that those compared of sequential sexual partnerships (Psychology, Health, and Medicine 2013). During the research, there were different discoveries that showed that simultaneous sexual relationships with a boyfriend or another male partner within the African American community was a factor that could account for the high levels of HIV/STD disparities. It is perceived that the multiple partners resort to the fast- spreading diseases that swarm around the black community. African Americans uniquely will probably have more concurrent sexual partners compared to whites. Its reported that African American women between ages of 14-19 reported that their concurrent partners in the previous six months and 46% suspected that their male partners were in concurrent partnerships. In other words, in the African American community a lot of infidelities happen between young couples. Many young men and women in the African American go about sex without the proper education resulting in high rates of HIV/STI within the community. Many go from one partner to the next carrying this disease unknowingly creating this horrible epidemic. However; individual-level factors do not explain why African American women suffer high rates. In this study, the variables being studied is the individual-level and partner/relationship-level, being the independent study, and concurrency being the dependent variable.
Concurrency was defined as having two partners, one being the official boyfriend and the other being a casual sex partner. Concurrency was based more on questions regarding current sexual situations. The two questions that were asked to the participants were to get a more detailed answer on their love life, like if they had a boyfriend or a casual partner. Participants would choose either yes or no. Participants who chose yes to both questions were classified as having concurrent sexual relationships. Partners who chose no was excluded from the analysis. This ties with the researcher’s hypothesis, are individual and partner-level characteristics the root to the high HIV/STI amongst African American women. The participants used in this study were recruited from a county STI clinic, a family planning clinic and an adolescent health clinic in Atlanta, GA from March 2002-August 2. They ensured that the participants were African American between that ages 15-21 years old who has also had sex within the last 60 days. A total of 715 were elected to participate in this study and 84% fully participated.
During the data collection process there was a 60-minute baseline survey administered by a self-interviewing computer (A-CASI) and participants were compensated $50 for their participation. The questions on the survey included many variables which represented sexual activity history, alcohol and drug use, relationship characteristics and history of emotional, physical and sexual abuse (Psychology, health and medicine 2013). Standard information were gathered prior to randomization to study these conditions. The questions in the study originated from different sections that could contribute to the reasoning behind having multiple partners. Demographics concentrated on if family aid was available for these members. Sexual history was another segment in the questionnaire, the sexual history was assessed by asking if the participants had any health care provider that told them that they were infected. Respondents were also asked when they lost their virginity, how many male sex partners they had and if they were under the influence while engaging in sex within the last 60 days. To get a more detailed reasoning behind the urge of having sex, participants were asked questions on what goes on in the process of having sex. For example, the type of questions that were asked were “When it comes to sex, I’m willing to try anything” and “Stopping to use a condom during sex takes the fun out of sex” and were asked to rate each question 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree).
Getting into the emotional aspects, self esteem was assessed in this questionnaire. Participants were giving items on their worth and reversed into discussing how they felt, “I feel useless at times” and “I feel I do not have much to be proud of.” Again, rating on the 1-4 scale with 1 being (strongly disagree) and 4 (strongly agree). Depression was also measured, items asked how respondents felt in the past 7 days. These items included statements like “I felt sad”, “I had crying spells” and “I felt lonely” and was measured from a range of days. Other factors that contributed to this study was finding if participants dealt with substance abuse. Lifetime use of alcohol and marijuana were each assessed, items asking, “In your lifetime have you ever tied alcohol” and “In your lifetime have you ever tried marijuana”. This is an important factor to sex because the use of drugs/alcohol during sex has become the norm in society especially in the African American community. Abuse history included three specific questions asking, “Have you ever been emotionally abused?” “Have you ever been physically abused?” and “Has anyone made you have vaginal sex when you didn’t want to”. Sexual abuse is a sad but common factor in sex, many experiences sexual abuse from a very young age and in most cases it’s not by one person. Partner and relationship level was another section measured in this study. All respondents were asked about their relationship which included questions like, “During your relationship with your boyfriend, has he had vaginal sex with another girl?” respondents who answered “don’t know” were considered missing data on this item. Other items went into the discussion of the future of the relationships. Items included “I see myself marrying my current boyfriend,” “I’ll stay with my current boyfriend until someone better comes along,” “It would be nice if my relationship succeeded, but I won’t do much more than I’m doing to help it succeed” these questions were helpful because it gave an idea as to where the infidelities came from. Respondents were also asked about the strength of the relationship and the number of times they had sex with their partners while the main partner was under the influence within the past 60 days. Partner age was also used with the item questions like “In general how old the people are you have sex with, are they…….” and the response options would ask how much older starting at 5 years and older than decreasing. Each of the individual level and partner/relationship level independent variables was analyzed for the relationship with concurrency using Spearman correlations and chi-square analyses. Once the results came back it showed that out of the 715 adolescent females who finished the study, a sum of 598 females was reported having a boyfriend, 28 of whom had not had vaginal sex with their primary male partner. Meaning, a total of 570 young African American women comprise the data analytic sample on which all analyses were conducted. Nearly a quarter reported sexually concurrent partnerships and 28.4% suspected male partner concurrency. “The recent evidence supports the supposition that sexual concurrency within the African American community may play an important role in the observed disparities in the STI/HIV among young African American women” (Psychology, Health and Medicine 2013).
The findings also indicated that relationship factors and lifetime sex partners were primary contributors of taking part in concurrency when considered in combination with other individual-and partners/relationship level risk factors. The study highlights that concurrent sexual partnerships are more heavily influenced by the dynamic nature of romantic and sexual relationships than individual-level behaviors. African American women are likely to have concurrent relations with other men if their present relationship was not headed towards a future, African American women also engaged in sexual relations with older men. Also, a lack of commitment is also a factor in women engaging in sex with other men other than their spouse. All in all, these findings suggest that relationship factors are important factors that contribute to the prevalence of sexual concurrency among African American adolescent women. The charts in this study showed depicts, individual and partner/relationship-level independent variables by concurrency status. Table 1 included individual-level variables and table 2 included both individual and partner/relationship variable as predictors of concurrency. Based on this study, few individual-level factors were altogether associated with sexual concurrency when considered being related to partner/level relationship-level factors recommending that individual-level factors alone may not be as useful as social factors in understanding the young women’s engagement in concurrent sexual partnerships.
In this investigation, it demonstrates that the influence of other factors contributes to sexual concurrency. The findings in this study were constrained since a portion of the members were not specifically asked the reasons as to why they engaged in concurrent sex, what they hoped to gain or whether there was an emotional attachment to the concurrent partner. Also, researchers couldn’t access young women and their male partner’s motivation and attitude toward the concurrences. Another limitation was that the sample consisted of young women who were already seeking services form health clinics. However, despite these limitations, these findings did highlight potential areas to diminish the event and negative impact of sexual concurrency among high risk young American women.