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Context

Young Latinos in the United States are at high risk for STDs and are less likely than other youth to use condoms. To our knowledge, no studies have examined the relationship between sexual values and condom negotiation strategies among young Latinos.

Methods

Cross-sectional data collected in 2003–2006 from 571 Latino women and men aged 16–22 in the San Francisco Bay Area were used to examine associations between sexual values (e.g., considering sexual talk disrespectful or female virginity important) and use of strategies to engender or avoid condom use. Linear regression analyses were used to identify such associations while adjusting for potential covariates and gender interactions.

Results

Among women, sexual comfort and comfort with sexual communication were positively associated with frequency of direct communication to foster condom use; the importance of female premarital virginity and levels of sexual self-acceptance were positively associated with expressing dislike of condoms to avoid using them; and levels of sexual self-acceptance were negatively associated with expressing dislike of condoms to avoid using them. Moreover, the degrees to which women considered sexual talk disrespectful and female virginity important were positively associated with the frequency with which they shared risk information as a condom use strategy. Among both sexes, the importance that respondents placed on premarital female virginity was negatively associated with use of direct communication strategies.

Conclusion

Researchers designing interventions to influence Latino youths’ sexual decision making and behaviors should consider including program components that address sexual values.