All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia Drentea

Advisory Committee Members

Shelia Cotten

Erika L Austin

Susan L Davies

Cathy G McElderry

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


GENDER, RACE, POWER AND CONDOM-USE: UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP POWER AND CONDOM-USE AMONG YOUNG HETEROSEXUALLY-ACTIVE ADULTS HIV/AIDS continues to be a significant public health threat among heterosexual-ly-active females in the United States, particularly among Black females. Rates of HIV infection among heterosexually-active, non-injection drug using females have been in-creasing since the 1990s. Previous research recommends the need to consider the gen-dered and cultural context within which these infections are occurring. This research re-sponds to these recommendations by using Connell's (1987) theory of gender and power as a theoretical guide to test the following research questions: 1. Does relationship power differ by sex and race? 2. Does relationship power mediate the effect of condom-use? 3. Does condom-use differ by sex and race? 4. Is there an interaction effect of sex and race on condom-use? Using data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Wave III), an analytic sample (n = 682) was created to examine sex and racial differences in relationship power and condom-use among heterosexually-active adults 18 - 27 years of age. Controlling for demographic factors, logistic regression results partially supported the hypothesis relationship power differs by sex and race. That is, results sug-gests that females are less likely to be sexually assertive and more likely to have a history of relationship violence, in their current relationship, than males; and Blacks are less likely to be satisfied with their current relationship than other races. Results also suggested that none of the measures of relationship power (sexual assertiveness, history of violence in relationship, relationship satisfaction, and decision-making dominance) have a significant relationship with condom-use, by sex or gender. Although, the results are not entirely as predicted, this research still contributes to the understanding of relationship power, and the health and well-being of heterosexual females. Future research should continue to focus on structural-related factors and condom-use, but not to the exclusion of agency. Key words: condom-use, relationship power, heterosexually-active