Lisa Bowleg, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island; Kenya Johari Lucas, Department of Sociology, Brown University; Jeanne M. Tschann, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.
“The Ball Was Always In His Court”: An Exploratory Analysis Of Relationship Scripts, Sexual Scripts, And Condom Use Among African American Women
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2004
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 70–82, March 2004
How to Cite
Bowleg, L., Lucas, K. J. and Tschann, J. M. (2004), “The Ball Was Always In His Court”: An Exploratory Analysis Of Relationship Scripts, Sexual Scripts, And Condom Use Among African American Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28: 70–82. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00124.x
This study was supported by a grant to Lisa Bowleg from the Collaborative HIV Prevention Research in Minority Communities Program, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco (National Institutes of Mental Health Grant 5P50 MH42459). We acknowledge the support of the Women's Collective, Washington, DC. We are also grateful for the support of our graduate research assistants Amy Black, Kelly Brooks, Mindy Craig, and Jennifer Huang, our undergraduate research assistant April Pascal, and the study's interviewers, Diane Jones and Ora White. Last, but not least, we are especially grateful to the women who generously shared their most intimate relationship and sexual experiences with us so that we could learn from their voices about the context of HIV/AIDS for African American women.
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2004
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2004
- Initial submission: April 28, 2003 Initial acceptance: July 11, 2003 Final acceptance: July 29, 2003
This qualitative study explored the association between African American women's interpersonal relationship and sexual scripts and condom use with primary partners. Participants were 14 lower to middle-income women between the ages of 22 and 39 involved in emotionally and sexually intimate heterosexual relationships. Relationship types included those that were: stable, emotionally committed; casual, primarily sexual; and unstable, emotionally imbalanced and/or conflict-ridden. Respondents completed a semi-structured interview and a questionnaire about their relationships, sexual, and condom use behaviors. Data analyses identified 3 interpersonal relationship scripts (i.e., men control relationships, women sustain relationships, infidelity is normative) and 2 interpersonal sexual scripts (i.e., men control sexual activity; women want to use condoms, but men control condom use) that may indirectly or directly decrease African American women's condom use with primary partners, and in turn increase their HIV risk. We discuss these interpersonal scripts within the context of sociocultural factors relevant to African American women, heterosexual relationships, and communities.