Body image and African American females' sexual health

Gina M. Wingood, Ralph DiClemente, Kathy Harrington, Susan L. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the association between African American adolescent females' body image and their sexual health. Methods: African American adolescent females (n = 522) completed a survey that assessed body image using a 7-item scale (α = 0.71) and a face-to-face interview that assessed sexual behaviors. Results: In logistic regression analyses, controlling for depression, self-esteem and body mass index (BMI), adolescents who were more dissatisfied with their body image were more likely to fear abandonment as a result of negotiating condom use (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.3, p = 0.02), more likely to perceive that they had fewer options for sexual partners (AOR = 2.4, p = 0.001), more likely to perceive themselves as having limited control in their sexual relationships (AOR = 2.0, p = 0.002), and more likely to worry about acquiring HIV(AOR = 1.5, p = 0.04). There was an association between having a greater dissatisfaction with one's body image and never using condoms during sexual intercourse in the past 30 days (AOR = 1.6, p = 0.04) and more likely to engage in unprotected vaginal sex in the prior 6 months (AOR = 1.6, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Prior research has demonstrated an association between African American women's body image and greater obesity risk, lower self-esteem, and greater depression. The present study has shown an association between body image dissatisfaction and a range of sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Women who are more dissatisfied with their body image may be at greater risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

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Body Image
Reproductive Health
African Americans
Odds Ratio
Condoms
Self Concept
Depression
Unsafe Sex
Sexual Partners
Coitus
Negotiating
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexual Behavior
HIV Infections
Fear
Body Mass Index
Obesity
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Wingood, G. M., DiClemente, R., Harrington, K., & Davies, S. L. (2002). Body image and African American females' sexual health. Journal of Women's Health, 11(5), 433-439.

Body image and African American females' sexual health. / Wingood, Gina M.; DiClemente, Ralph; Harrington, Kathy; Davies, Susan L.

In: Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 11, No. 5, 01.06.2002, p. 433-439.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wingood, GM, DiClemente, R, Harrington, K & Davies, SL 2002, 'Body image and African American females' sexual health', Journal of Women's Health, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 433-439.
Wingood GM, DiClemente R, Harrington K, Davies SL. Body image and African American females' sexual health. Journal of Women's Health. 2002 Jun 1;11(5):433-439.
Wingood, Gina M. ; DiClemente, Ralph ; Harrington, Kathy ; Davies, Susan L. / Body image and African American females' sexual health. In: Journal of Women's Health. 2002 ; Vol. 11, No. 5. pp. 433-439.
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