SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Risky and precautionary sexual behaviors were examined in a community sample of 260 single and married/cohabitating White women. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the ability of age, socioeconomic status (SES), marital status, religiosity, and 9 health belief constructs to predict risky sexual behavior with one's partner, using a barrier method of birth control, unintended pregnancies, and number of sexual partners in the past year. The pattern of results suggests that single White women appear to feel more vulnerable to HIV and STD infection and more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior than do married White women. The discussion focuses on the importance of sociocultural factors in understanding risk behaviors within the social context of relationship status, the complexity of the concept of risk reduction, and the need for going beyond the health belief model in order to develop different HIV prevention strategies for single and married White women.