School Engagement, Peer Influences, and Sexual Behaviors Among High School African American Adolescent Boys
This chapter shows that African American adolescent males are disproportionately infected with HIV compared to their White counterparts. While factors like early sexual debut, sex without condoms, and a higher number of sexual partners may in part account for such disparities, the factors associated with such risk behaviors remain unclear. The literature suggests that parents are critical in keeping adolescents safe. However, there is a dearth of research on African American adolescent males in relation to family constellation and sexual risk behaviors. A self-administered survey was used to examine family characteristics, parental support, peer networks, and HIV sexual risk behaviors among 171 African American high school males. The results suggest that cultural factors may weigh more heavily than family structure, which has been traditionally viewed as the discerning factor in assessing sexual behavior.
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