Exploring African American Adolescent Females’ Sexual Health Beliefs: A Qualitative Secondary Data Analysis

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The aim of this study was to gain insight into the sexual beliefs of African American adolescent females and yield greater evidence for reframing the methods used to communicate sexual health education information to educators. Design and methods: This is a secondary data analysis of a qualitative descriptive study. One-on-one interviews were conducted with 36 African American females ages 12–14. The qualitative data were analyzed using exploratory deductive thematic analysis. Results: Three themes emerged from the analysis: (a) perceptions of sexual health education, (b) threat of adverse sexual health outcomes, and (c) perceptions of condom usage. Overall, adolescents had basic sexual health knowledge and accurately appraised their risk for adverse sexual health outcomes. Many adolescents perceived the biggest disadvantage of condom usage was condom ineffectiveness. The greatest barrier to condom usage was male opposition. Adolescents perceived the threat of adverse sexual health outcomes, but the perceived benefits of condom usage in preventing pregnancies and STIs may not outweigh the disadvantages and barriers described by the adolescents. Conclusion: The adolescents in this study had knowledge about pregnancies and STIs but lacked the skills necessary to enact safer sex practices.
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    Author List

  • Corcoran JL; Childs GD; Davies SL; Knight CC; Lanzi RG; Li P; Ladores SL