A sex positive investigation of the sexual Development of Black women from adolescence to early adulthood

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shemeka Y. Thorpe (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Amanda Tanner

Abstract: Public health researchers often take a risk-based approach to investigating Black women’s and adolescent sexuality, focusing primarily on reducing the rates of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. In order to advance the field of public health and Black sexology, sex positive research focused on Black women’s sexual well-being (not solely limited to sexual health) is needed. The overall purpose of the present study is to investigate factors associated with the sexual development of Black women from adolescence to early adulthood. Utilizing a sex positive framework this study addresses two aims: (a) To examine the association between individual characteristics influence on sexual guilt, pleasure expectancies, and age of sexual debut among Black adolescent women; and (b) To examine the association between relationship and partner-specific factors and Black heterosexual women’s sexual experiences in early adulthood. This quantitative study uses restricted data from Wave I (adolescence) and Wave III (early adulthood) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). A series of logistic and linear regressions were conducted using STATA version 16. Findings showed that there were significant relationships between Black adolescent women’s individual characteristics (i.e., pubertal timing, weight perception, age, father’s non-residency, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, sexual status, and religious importance) and their pleasure expectancies, feelings of sexual guilt, and age of sexual debut. In early adulthood, there were significant relationships between relationship and partner-specific factors (e.g., financial ties, relationship satisfaction, love, egalitarianism, physical violence)and sexual experiences (i.e., orgasm frequency and initiating sexual intercourse with their partner). Understanding how these factors influence Black women’s sexual development from adolescence to early adulthood is important for achieving sexual health equity and intimate justice. Focusing on sex positive aspects of Black women’s lives shifts the narrative in research and helps address barriers that may prevent Black women from having pleasurable, guilt-free sexual experiences throughout their lifespan. Implications for sexuality research and education are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Black women, Orgasm, Pleasure, Relationships, Sex positive, Sexual guilt
Women, Black $x Sexual behavior
Sexual health
Man-woman relationships

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