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Lazos que Atan: The Influence of Normative Gender Beliefs on Sexual Risk Behaviors of Latino Men and Women

Authors

  • Maria Eugenia Fernandez-Esquer,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston
      and
      University of Texas Health Science Center
      Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
      Maria Eugenia Fernandez-Esquer, University of Texas Health Science Center, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, 7000 Fannin, Suite 2518, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: Maria.E.Fernandez-Esquer@uth.tmc.edu
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    • “Ties that bind.”

  • Pamela Diamond,

    1. University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston
      and
      University of Texas Health Science Center
      Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
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  • John Atkinson

    1. University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston
      and
      University of Texas Health Science Center
      Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
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Maria Eugenia Fernandez-Esquer, University of Texas Health Science Center, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, 7000 Fannin, Suite 2518, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: Maria.E.Fernandez-Esquer@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

Not all Latino men and women conform to proscribed gender roles. Nonetheless, their sexual risk taking may well be influenced by traditional beliefs concerning these roles. We explored the relationship between gender beliefs that are normative in Latino culture, and the sexual risk behaviors of 152 Latino men and women who participated in a behavioral rapid needs assessment survey in Houston, TX. Path—analytic results indicate that normative gender beliefs are influenced by respondents' sex and their levels of acculturation and that these 2 variables influence sexual risk behaviors, including unprotected sex and multi partnerism. Our results suggest that beliefs about gender influence sexual behavior and, therefore, are an important factor that should be considered in understanding sexual risk taking among Latinos.

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