Sex scripts and power: a framework to explain urban women's HIV sexual risk with male partners

Nurs Clin North Am. 2006 Sep;41(3):425-36, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2006.05.003.


The risk of sexual transmission of HIV may be perceived to be real among young urban women; however, the risk of losing a male partner if one doesn't engage in unprotected sex may be perceived to be greater. Sex script theory, and Barrett's theory of power as knowing participation in change, are integrated into a framework to explain young adult urban women's sex scripted response of unprotected sex as a normative relationship-promoting behavior. It is proposed herein that by associating high-power sex scripts that involve health-promoting behaviors into the familiar sex scripts, new HIV risk-reducing behavior may be integrated into normative sex scripts because these are designed to fulfill familiar relationship needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Theory
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Marketing
  • Stereotyping
  • Urban Population