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  • Writer's pictureD.P. Stephens

Black College Women's Dating Dilemmas & Sexual Risk taking

Rates of negative sexual health outcomes among college women are similar to those in community samples- what is going on?

There is a popular public narrative about the shortage of eligible partners for Black young, educated Black women in the United States. ​Research has supported this assertion as the shortage is concentrated among the highest educated in the community. ​Specifically, based on the traditional definition of “marriageability” eligible partners (ratio of employed men to all women of the same age) it is true that there are few Black men achieving the same level of education success. Lower college graduation and employment rates among Black men, Black women's interracial dating trends, and gender role expectations are all factors that contribute to these trends.

As prior research has shown that Black college women- even those deemed highly educated (e.g. graduate level degree earners) experience negative sexual health outcomes at rates higher than racial/ ethnic counterparts, the need exists to examine this phenomenon using a critical lens. Accordingly, this presentation examined the role of the intersecting identities of race and gender and other social factors that influence the sexual health and wellbeing of college and graduate school educated Black women's dating experiences. This presentation for the 2018 Culture & Sexual Health Course explored the ways in which power shapes sexual risk decision making processes of college educated Black women. You can also view this video directly on Youtube.

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