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Keywords:

  • sexual health;
  • women who have sex with women and men;
  • bisexuality;
  • sexually transmitted infections;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • unintended pregnancy;
  • sexual safety

ABSTRACT

Objective

To examine sexuality narratives of Black women who have sex with women and men and explore factors that influence their sexual safety and sexual security.

Design

Secondary qualitative content analysis.

Setting

We recruited young self-identified Black women from beauty salons and community-based organizations.

Participants

Our sample included a subset of five sexually active, Black women age 19 to 25 who reported engaging in sexual relationships with women and men. Participants were selected from a larger parent study that included sexuality narratives from 25 women.

Methods

We analyzed interview transcripts in which participants described sexual relationships. We used constant comparative techniques and conventional content analysis methodology.

Results

We uncovered three themes illustrating influences on sexual safety and sexual security: institutional expectations, emotional connectedness, and sexual behaviors.

Conclusions

From this analysis, we derive valuable insights into decision-making processes within sexual relationships from the perspectives of young Black women who have sex with women and men. Clinicians and investigators can use these findings to inform programs designed to improve the sexual health of this often invisible group of women. Nurses are uniquely positioned to support young women as they navigate societal institutions and emotional experiences that inform future sexual decisions and behaviors.