Inner-city women and AIDS: the psycho-social benefits of unsafe sex

Cult Med Psychiatry. 1993 Dec;17(4):455-85. doi: 10.1007/BF01379310.


The paper describes and analyzes findings from a larger study of the links between low levels of condom use and impoverished, urban, African-American women's experiences and understandings of heterosexual relationships. The research identifies and explores psycho-social barriers to safer-sex. This article examines, in detail, HIV/AIDS risk denial and women's strategic use of unsafe (condomless) sex and "monogamy narratives" to build and to maintain this denial. The tendency to view urban African-American women's conjugal affiliations as instrumental is questioned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / psychology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internal-External Control
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Poverty / psychology*
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Social Values