Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology


Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention issues for women, particularly women of color, are multifaceted and far-reaching. Cultural dynamics unique to black women, such as attitudes, values and beliefs are often not considered. The proposed study assesses culturally specific factors that may inform sexual decision-making for African American college students in an urban setting. The study proposes to analyze how knowledge, the adoption of stereotypical attitudes (four specifically: Mammy, Sapphire, Jezebel, and Superwoman) and religiosity (attendance) may influence the sexual choices of young adult African American college women.

One hundred and ten African American women attending a predominantly Black and urban university were recruited to participate, during the 2004-2005 academic school year. All participants were undergraduates and ranked as follows: 48% freshman, 19% sophomore, 17% junior, and 16% senior. A self-report survey accounting for group demographics, and measures of sexual knowledge, stereotypical role adoption for Black women, and sexual risk-behavior was completed. Pearson product moment correlations and multiple regression analyses were run to determine the significance of relationships among variables. Findings support a significant relationship between stereotypical role adoption for Black women and sexual risk behavior. However, relationships between either sexual knowledge, or religious attendance and sexual risk behavior were not supported as significant. Implications for future research are discussed. This study seeks to enrich the literature regarding some of the salient factors that are unique to African American college women and potentially mediate their risk for STI exposure/infection. Further, this study aspires to inform future preventative practice in efforts to eradicate the pervasiveness of sexually transmitted infections/diseases among young African American women.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.