Do Traditional Gender Role Beliefs Promote Abstinence and Sexual Health Behaviors Among Latina College Students?

Melissa M. Ertl, Cara L. Fresquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Traditional gender role beliefs, or marianismo beliefs, are theorized to be largely protective against health risk behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors among Latina young adults. However, measurement differences across studies and research with heterogeneous samples of abstinent and sexually active Latina young adults have led to unclear findings. Thus, we investigated whether endorsement of certain marianismo beliefs may promote sexual health behaviors or solely promote abstinence. Guided by gender role schema theory, this study investigated the multidimensional construct of marianismo beliefs in relation to past-year abstinence from sexual activity, STI and HIV testing, and condom use among 611 Latina young adults. Results indicated that endorsement of the Virtuous and Chaste belief was associated with decreased odds of sexual activity (i.e., increased odds of being abstinent) in the past year. None of the five marianismo beliefs were significantly linked with condom use. Among sexually active participants, the Virtuous and Chaste belief was associated with decreased likelihood to be tested for both STIs and HIV in the past year. Findings support the notion that certain marianismo beliefs (e.g., the Virtuous and Chaste belief) may promote abstinence, yet pose a risk for sexual health via reduced likelihood for STI and HIV testing. Results may inform culturally-tailored HIV prevention interventions with Latinas to reduce the disproportionate HIV burden in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1151
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Volume53
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023.

Keywords

  • Condom use
  • Gender role beliefs
  • Latinas
  • Marianismo
  • STI testing/HIV testing
  • Sexual risk

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Do Traditional Gender Role Beliefs Promote Abstinence and Sexual Health Behaviors Among Latina College Students?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this