Background: African-Americans have the greatest gender-ratio imbalance compared to other racial groups in the United States. This has been associated with higher rates of concurrent sexual partnerships, increasing risk of HIV infection. College-educated African-American women are of particular interest as they are not often represented in studies on HIV prevention, while their dating and sexual negotiation patterns may differ from those of their lower-educated and lower-income counterparts more often the subject of study in HIV research among African-Americans. Method: In this qualitative study, we investigate: a) how the gender-ratio imbalance is perceived by college-educated African-American women, b) how they feel limited partner availability impacts heterosexual relationships in the African-American community, and c) the influence this has on their sexual decision making and HIV protective behaviors. Results: Four major themes emerged- Limited pool of available male partners, Pressure to get married, Feelings of competition among women for male partners, and Men's negotiating power in relationships. Conclusions: Using the PEN-3 Cultural Model, we discuss how this information may be used to develop interventions for this group of women designed to address their more specific barriers to HIV risk reduction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes