Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Natl Med Assoc. 1994 Oct;86(10):745-59.

What is the significance of black-white differences in risky sexual behavior?

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30331-2099.


A sample of African-American and white young adults were classified as having multiple sex partners or one sexual partner. Subjects with multiple sexual partners were more likely to use drugs and practice risky sexual behaviors such as having anal intercourse, having sexual experiences with a prostitute, and having a history of gonorrhea (P < .001) and genital warts (P < .01). Additional analyses were conducted to determine African-American versus white differences in risky sexual behaviors. Results indicated that whites in the multiple partners and single partner groups were more likely to engage in anal and oral sex, while African Americans were more likely to have sex with prostitutes. Attitudes about the use of condoms differed significantly by multiple partner status (P < .004) and gender (P < .007), but not ethnicity. However, angry reactions about the use of condoms occurred more with African Americans (P < .003) and males (P < .05) than with whites or females. While whites reported a greater use of drugs and a significantly higher level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, African Americans reported a significantly greater perception of risk for being exposed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (P < .01) and significantly more gonorrhea (P < .10), syphilis (P < .05), and HIV/AIDS (P < .05). No whites in our sample were treated for syphilis nor had they tested positive for HIV/AIDS. On the other hand, 4.5% of the total sample of African Americans reported testing positive for HIV/AIDS. Finally, the results from discriminant analysis indicate that a large number of variables significantly discriminate between subjects who engage in risky sexual behaviors and those who do not. Although there is some similarity in the variables for African Americans and whites, there was tremendous variability between the ethnic groups in the factors that predict risky behaviors. These findings are discussed with reference to the need to develop HIV/AIDS prevention programs for African Americans that are based on data derived from African-American populations rather than from black versus white comparison studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk