“To be a Black Man is an Uphill Battle Everyday”: Intersectionality, HIV/AIDS & Black Heterosexual Men’s Sexual Risk Behaviors

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lisa Bowleg

Professor of Applied Social Psychology
George Washington University

ondoms used correctly and consistently, are an effective HIV prevention strategy. The Black heterosexual urban men in my research know this fact too. Yet, unemployment, unemployment compounded by having a criminal record, incarceration, and police stop-and-frisk policies often top their list of priorities, not condom use. Intersectionality is an ideal theoretical framework for understanding the mismatch between traditional psychosocial and public health approaches to HIV prevention and the priorities of many low-income Black heterosexual urban men. Using intersectionality as a foundation, this presentation will define and present core tenets of intersectionality; review relevant literature on discrimination and sexual risk; highlight findings from three of my NIH-funded R01 studies with Black heterosexual men in Philadelphia and Washington, DC relevant to the structural context of sexual risk; and highlight challenges and opportunities for a greater focus on the social-structural context of sexual risk for low-income Black communities in general, and Black heterosexual men in particular.


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