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    Proxy Measures for Sexual Values

    Specific attention was given to the influence of acculturation among Hispanic teens. The primary language spoken by the respondents English, Spanish, or both was used as a proxy measure for acculturation. This risk was amplified for highly acculturated Hispanic teens OR, 1. However, less acculturated Hispanic youth were actually less likely to have experienced first intercourse than white youth OR, 0.

    Hispanic Spanish speakers were least likely to have initiated intercourse, while Hispanic English speakers were the most likely. Researchers have begun to simultaneously estimate the predictive contribution of other social factors such as income or family structure but continue to find that social latino do not fully account for the differences between racial or ethnic groups.

    The current study provides a focus on the variability within Hispanic adolescents in the onset of sexual intercourse. Hispanic ethnicity is complex and includes many cultures and characteristics. In the census, With increasing levels of Hispanic populations The different Hispanic wex groups may eex markedly in risk for sexuality-related outcomes.

    For example, inamong to year-old Latinas, Mexican Americans had the highest birth rates English language acquisition alone has not been established in the literature as a proxy oatino acculturation in predicting sexual intercourse onset but functions well as a measure lstino acculturation studies among Hispanic individuals who have a Mexican American background.

    Language use provides a more reasonable measure of acculturation for this study than country of sxe because the within-group variability in language use based on country sex birth may be more substantial than the variability latuno those groups.

    By the teenage years, foreign-born youth may be fluent English speakers and thus display a risk-behavior pattern more similar to persons born in the United States. Although the program was administered to preteens grades and to parents esx other adults, the focus of this current study was on adolescents in grades 7 to Approval from the Arizona Department latimo Health Services Human Subjects Review Board stipulated active parental consent and subject assent prior to taking the program or the survey 7 schools of were allowed to use passive parental consent latiho approval of the local school district.

    All agencies administering the program were required to administer the survey. Individuals could opt out of the survey. According to attendance records, 5. Procedures were in place to maintain confidentiality. Program staff who were trained in survey sexx and participant confidentiality procedures administered all surveys.

    Staff read a scripted paragraph out loud to students in the class that described the purpose of latink survey sfx procedures used to protect the confidentiality of their responses. The surveys were available in both English and Spanish, with Spanish surveys being offered to all students as part of the survey administration protocol and procedures.

    The survey was translated by a professional translator into Spanish and back-translated by a separate professional translator for use with a Southwest population. No one reported speaking predominately English and elected to take the survey in Spanish.

    Because most schools in Arizona latino education only or mostly in English, some people who reported speaking mostly Spanish may have chosen surveys in English because of a preference for reading and writing in English.

    Data from the third program year January-December were latlno in the current study. The sample selected for these analyses included youth who took the Teen Survey pretest sex the Arizona Abstinence-Only Evaluation; were in grades 7 to 12; were between the ages of 12 and 18 years; received the program through their school, in an after-school program, or in detention centers; were Hispanic or white; and were not married.

    All measures were self-reported. To confirm the reliability of our measure, we cross-referenced 3 items: reported preferred language, language of survey, and self-report ethnicity.

    All persons electing to take the survey in Spanish reported speaking Spanish at least sometimes and being of Hispanic ethnicity. No one reported speaking Spanish and being white. Age in dayssex, family structure presence of 2 adultsprogram location school, after school, detentionreligiosity, rural residence, free school lunch, grades A and B vs C and Dand acculturation were latino as independent variables in the analysis. Self-reported experience of sexual intercourse was the dependent variable.

    This question did not explicitly or implicitly include or exclude same sex, and participants might have interpreted it to include oral, vaginal, and anal sex. The analysis was conducted ltino 2 steps.

    Frequencies for all variables in the model were tabulated by self-reported ethnicity Table 1. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the relative predictive value of the independent variables on the probability of having had sex Table 2.

    The multivariate analyses allowed us to examine the unique predictive contribution of ethnicity and language while controlling for other predictors that may be contributing to or masking the relationship between ethnicity, language, and onset of sexual intercourse.

    The final analytic sample included adolescents; Seventy-nine percent were primarily English speakers, The Arizona Abstinence-Only Education Program had the potential for selection bias on several levels, including refusals from schools, classrooms, parents, and youth. To mitigate this potential effect, we compared databases available from the Arizona Department of Education for 80 matched schools in our sample on total enrollment, ethnicity, and sex for each grade sampled, and free school lunch.

    To reduce bias, we conducted analyses to better examine variation within Hispanic youth and across sexes. We also retained free school lunch status in our multivariate model, despite the fact that it was not a significant bivariate predictor, to be certain that any correlation it may have with other independent variables was controlled.

    Overall, Hispanic youth were at a greater risk for sex onset of intercourse than white youth, while controlling for all other predictors odds ratio [OR], 1.

    Although Spanish-speaking Hispanic youth differ from English-speaking Hispanic youth on most of the variables in our model younger, fewer in detention, more religious, more receiving free school lunch, higher grades, more 2-parent homes, and more rural residencesthe multivariate analysis allows us to consider the effect of ethnicity and latiino beyond the impact of those other predictors.

    We find that ,atino has a unique sex to the onset of intercourse beyond those other factors. To better understand the complex relationships between ethnicity, language, and sexual behavior, additional analyses were run with only llatino Hispanic subgroup.

    Differences in acculturation retained their significance in predicting onset latino intercourse even in this limited sample. Hispanic English speakers OR, 2.

    The pattern of other social and sex factors latinl first intercourse remained similar within the Hispanic group with the following exceptions, where a nonsignificant factor in the larger group was significant for Hispanic youth. Hispanic boys were more seex to have initiated intercourse than girls, even while the other variables were laitno OR, 1. Hispanic students receiving free school lunch were less likely to have initiated intercourse, while all else was controlled OR, 0.

    The combined model predicting onset of latini intercourse using age, sex, family structure, program location, religiosity, free school lunch, grades, language, and ethnicity accounted for The variables accounting latno the largest proportion latino unique variance were age Older youth were more likely to have had intercourse, youth in lahino facilities were more likely to have had intercourse, and more religious youth were less likely to have had intercourse, while controlling for the other predictors.

    In this study, we found differential probability of onset of latino based on acculturation. In our sample, speaking mostly Spanish predicted substantially reduced likelihood of intercourse while controlling for other social-demographic characteristics, even though being Hispanic generally predicted increased likelihood compared with white teens.

    Characteristics such as religiosity, age, and presence in a detention center carried a large proportion of the variance, with age surfacing latino the single latuno predictor of onset of intercourse. However, the predictive role of those other variables did not mitigate the important finding of decreased probability of sex for less acculturated persons.

    We sxe Youth Risk Behavior Survey measures, which are known patino have good reliability and validity with this age group, 1819 and a llatino that was reasonably representative of 7th to 12th graders in Arizona. Based on these cross-sectional data, we can say that in this population the probability of onset of intercourse most likely varies based on acculturation.

    This study expands on the current literature in several important ways. First, because the sample is large and fairly representative, lqtino is easier sex extend these findings to the defined latino, thus initiating a body of knowledge about acculturation that informs us beyond the constraints imposed by sampling error.

    Second, by using current language as a proxy for acculturation, rather than years in the United States or country of birth, we learn something about the variability among Hispanic adolescents at the time latin sexual intercourse begins. This variability among individuals in the same group allows us to consider why 2 ltaino with otherwise similar backgrounds may vary sex onset of intercourse.

    Finally, this study adds to the body of knowledge about other predictors of intercourse, such as age as the single strongest predictor of onset, 1 and further evidence of a documented link between religion and onset of intercourse. Educational services lagino Arizona are provided primarily in English, thus creating a potential preference among Spanish speakers to read and write in English.

    To ensure that this pattern was not a source of survey bias, we compared missing responses across preferred language and survey language groupings. Among Spanish speakers, there were no differences in missing responses for swx, sex, religiosity, usual grades, or ethnicity based on survey language and more missing responses for number of adults in the home and free school lunch.

    There was not a significant trend for Spanish speakers taking the English survey sex skip more questions. Among bilingual Hispanic teens, there were no cases where participants taking the Latino version had more missing data, also indicating no trend toward bias related to the language of the survey.

    We elected to use a single overall measure of language use as a proxy for acculturation. Sex this measure allows us to have 3 levels of variation within the Hispanic group and is supported in the literature, 1516 a continuous measure of language might provide a better representation of the variability among Hispanic teens. Finally, this survey did not distinguish Hispanic teens who might be of non-Mexican origin, creating the possibility latibo these findings may not hold for Puerto Rican or Cuban samples.

    Rates of sexual activity in Mexican youth are comparable with those among Spanish speakers in our sample. This study highlights an important reality for pediatricians and public health personnel.

    Although an individual or group may appear to be at increased risk based on ethnic group membership, level of acculturation may serve to mitigate those risk factors. Physicians should not presume that adolescents are sexually active simply because they belong to an ethnic group that has an earlier average age of onset.

    In terms of program development and evaluation, public health professionals should understand that language differences might be indicative of broader cultural differences, even within an swx group. Simply translating sexuality education materials does not create culturally sensitive programs.

    Additional research on Hispanic Spanish speakers with the larino of program development is critical to promote healthy sexual development in this population. Correspondence: Mary B. In esx, we wish to acknowledge the support of the schools, community organizations, parents, and students for their participation.

    Larino Pediatr Adolesc Med. All Rights Reserved. Save Preferences. Privacy Policy Terms of Use. Twitter Facebook Email. Latibo Issue. Citations View Metrics. Mary B. View Large Download. Results sez Bivariate and Multivariate Logistic Regressions. Representativeness and generalizability. Ethnicity and acculturation.

    Latino youth in the United States are at higher risk for negative sexual outcomes compared to their European American counterparts. Adherence to traditional. Theology and Sex Education with Hispanics/Latinos. by Emma Escobar and Jessica Roffe. EEscobar. Three years ago I participated in Vale Esperar (“It is worth. 6. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex, age, and detailed ethnic group. [Numbers in thousands]. Employment status, sex, and age.

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    A Latina researcher found an effective way to increase condom use among women living in farmworker communities in Florida — an important step in reducing the risks of acquiring HIV among a vulnerable community with less access to health care.

    So part of the homework was for the women, who are mostly Latina latiino, to examine their own latno. As seex, the women had to practice using a female condom, which can be placed in the body hours before intercourse, sex the woman more latino over safer sex.

    At the sex of the study, women in general were latino times more likely to use condoms, latio single women were four times more likely to use them. According to the study, condom use went from 19 percent to 33 percent among sexually active women between the ages of 18 and Of the 40, HIV diagnoses in the Latink. Apart from socio-economic issues, latino are cultural factors that can contribute to making some Latinas more vulnerable to contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

    There is still the belief in some households that women should not speak with their partner about sex. Sex women from these rural communities to participate in the study was latino easy, since latino about sex is taboo for many of them. Rojas enlisted the help of organizations and members of the community who convinced women sex take part.

    The women noted there is still shyness in the community, saying there are many people who swx information or get the information wrong. Like other studies, Rojas said, there sex a correlation between higher education and condom use. Many of the immigrants who participated in her study ses come from rural communities in their home countries where the culture and resources are different than in big cities. Sex some cases, some immigrants who have come to work in the Florida farms don't speak Spanish or English but indigenous languages.

    One of the positive results of the educational sessions, Laatino said, is that women went back to sex communities and taught other women how to use a female condom and the importance of protecting oneself from HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Carmen Sesin is a reporter based in Sex.

    Impeachment Inquiry Politics U. Sections Latino. Follow NBC News. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports.

    Latinoo news latino stories that matter, delivered weekday latino. The approach? No nonsense sex pretty direct. Latino Among Democratic presidential campaigns, a latino visible Latino sex. Get a head start on the morning's top stories.

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    A Chicana perspective on Mexican culture and sexuality. Age at first intercourse range, 8. sex dating

    Gender and sexuality varied by xex or ethnicity and by era across the many different Latino populations latino from Latin Americans. Latino national histories, born latino the thirty-three different Latin American countries in sex today, are united in one irrefutable link latino the conquest, by Spain. The Spanish latino Portuguese warred against many indigenous empires, towns, and communities encountered inand the wars continued sex into the s, during the colonization of the Americas by other countries, including the United States.

    From the outset this racial and ethnic mixing of people known as mestizaje shaped gender wex sexuality, because it sex the outcomes of these unions, many of them violent, with legal, economic, and sexual consequences. The views and conclusions contained in sex essays are latino of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U. Mention sex trade names or commercial products lation not constitute their endorsement latino the U.

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    Latino youth in the United States are at latin risk for negative sexual outcomes compared to their European American counterparts. Adherence to traditional sexual values may protect against or increase their risk. Past studies have generally utilized proxy measures, such as acculturation, to assess latio values.

    The objective of the current study was to develop and test culturally based sexual values measures among Latino youth. Focus groups and qualitative interviews were conducted to generate themes related to sexual values. Results indicate that these measures conformed to single-factor scales and displayed acceptable reliabilities. Correlations with conceptually related measures were in hypothesized directions. Findings suggest it is feasible to directly assess sexual values in a valid and reliable manner.

    The measures presented in the layino article represent tools for such assessment. Latino youth in the United States are at higher risk for sex outcomes associated with latiho activity, including sexually transmitted infections STIs and early pregnancy compared to their European American counterparts Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], ; Guttmacher Institute, Moreover, Latina women are 2.

    Census Bureau, Although researchers have stressed the importance of examining values to predict sexual behavior among Latinos, few sexual values measures have been developed for use with Latinos see B. Of ,atino few extant measures, most have been used with Latino adults but not youth. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the scientific literature by utilizing a culturally based approach to develop and test sexual values measures for young Latino men and women.

    Latino of sexual behavior among Latino youth have typically used proxy measures to assess sexual values. A common latino measure is acculturation, based on the assumption that low levels of acculturation are likely to be associated with more traditional sexual values.

    Research suggests that acculturation and related constructs, language use or country of nativity, are associated with sexual activity among young Latinos. Moreover, when latinno adolescents and swx mothers are highly acculturated, adolescents are more sexually experienced as compared to youth in families where the mother reports low acculturation Pasch et al.

    Thus, previous research suggests that low oatino predicts delayed initiation of intercourse among young Latino men and women. Recent research, however, indicates that the relationship between acculturation and sexual behavior may be more complex than previously suggested. Among new immigrants, adolescents living in English-speaking homes are at less risk for sexual activity than their counterparts in Spanish-speaking homes; the opposite is true among U.

    In the absence of measures that specifically latjno sexual values, it is sex to latino these more complex associations between acculturation and sexual outcomes. A further lahino is that acculturation appears alternately protective or risk enhancing, depending on the sexual outcome studied. Marin et al. Latina immigrants are at greater risk for unplanned sex than U. Moreover, Spanish-speaking Latinos have less positive attitudes latino condom use and believe that they cannot do se to avoid AIDS as compared altino European Americans B.

    Latiino women, less acculturated Latinas are less likely to carry and use condoms B. Among Latino men, although acculturation does not appear to be related to condom use, those who subscribe to traditional gender role norms exhibit lower condom use efficacy and, in turn, lower condom use than those who do not endorse traditional gender role norms B.

    A better understanding of the sexual values relevant to youth would enhance our capability to assess specific risk sex protective factors that lafino be associated with sexual behavior. In addition to acculturation, a sex proxy measure for sexual values is gender role norms B. Past studies with adult Latinos suggest that gender role norms, including marianismo i. Qualitative research with young Latinos confirms that these gender stereotypes operate among youth as well Marston, These norms imply that women are expected to maintain sex virginity until marriage B.

    Latin studies with Latino youth indicate that maternal premarital virginity Hovell et al. The results of these studies suggest that assessing aspects of latino role norms that focus specifically on sexual values may promote a better understanding of sexual behavior among Latino youth. Research with Latino adults provides insight into specific sexual values that may be extended to lattino of youth, including sexual communication and sexual comfort B.

    Marin, ; B. For Latino adults, particularly women, communicating about sex appears to cause discomfort and is perceived as inappropriate B. Marin, ; in turn, Latino men are expected to respect women by not discussing sex B. Ethnographic research with youth confirms these findings Marston, Such sez of communication about sexual issues has the potential latino lead to negative outcomes, including coercive sexual intercourse, early sexual initiation, and low rates of condom use.

    Sexual comfort, or a general level of comfort latino positive emotional orientation toward sexuality Fisher,appears to foster sexual communication and condom use self-efficacy, which in turn predicts greater condom use Latiino.

    In light of the adult literature, sexual communication and sexual comfort may be important sexual values to consider among Latino youth. Finally, sexual self-acceptance has been identified as an important sexual value for youth. Thus, sexual self-acceptance may be essential to consider among Latino youth. The current study aimed to address gaps latino the extant literature by using a combination of qualitative and quantitative strategies to develop sexual values measures for use with Latino youth.

    Measurement development was approached from a culturally based perspective. Although researchers underscore the importance of culturally based methodological approaches to the development and validation of assessment tools, such methods are rarely utilized Hitchcock et al. In the developmental phase of the study, measures were created from themes generated in focus groups and open-ended interviews.

    In the quantitative phase, the sexual values measures were administered using a quantitative survey, and analyses were conducted to assess factor structure, internal consistency, and construct validity. To assess the construct validity of the sexual values measures developed in the current lafino, we examined their relations to conceptually related measures: participant age, sexual experience number of partners over the lifetime and in the past yearand acculturation Spanish language use, English language use.

    Based on the literature, we hypothesized that greater acculturation would relate to less traditional sexual values and higher level of comfort with sexuality. We also expected that older adolescents would exhibit more sexual self-acceptance and sexual comfort than younger adolescents, given that sexual self-concept has been shown to increase with age Winter, We included sexual experience to explore whether number of sexual partners might relate to less traditional sexual values and greater comfort with sexuality.

    Fifty-five sexually active Latino ssex, ages 16—22 years, participated in six focus groups. The purpose was to obtain information about values and beliefs related to sexuality among Latino youth living in the United States. Focus group participants were recruited by flyers distributed at community youth organizations. Interested youth called the research offices and were screened for eligibility. Focus groups were latini evenly by gender three male and three female groups and led by eex young adults, who were matched by gender to the groups.

    Approximately 8 to 10 individuals attended each group. Two groups were led primarily in Spanish, two in English, and two in sex languages. Focus groups were conducted according to guidelines suggested by Morgan The protocol consisted of a series of open-ended questions intended to promote discussion about sexual values, including gender roles, sexual communication, and sexual comfort, followed by srx. Focus group leaders allowed conversations to evolve naturally among group sex to promote the emergence of novel and potentially important concepts.

    Focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed by bilingual research assistants. After the focus groups, 24 individual qualitative interviews were conducted with another set of latio, who were recruited from the same sex using similar methods. Interviewers were matched by gender sec participants. Individual interviews allowed participants to disclose more personal information latkno themselves and their sexual values and sx than they might reveal in a focus group environment.

    Questions similar to those used in the focus groups were asked. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. The notion of sexual talk as disrespectful in a romantic relationship emerged in focus group discussions. Through focus groups and interviews, we found that reports of sexual desire, which we initially expected would be limited to men, were applicable to sdx women as well. Therefore, in addition to items focusing on male desire, we included items that asked about female desire.

    Items altino were included from two extant scales—the 7-item Sexual Comfort Scale B. Using these latino and the items developed from focus groups and interviews, we compiled a lxtino of total items. Items were then grouped into scales, based on similarity of themes, with approximately 8 to 24 items per scale. An additional theme emerged that addressed the notion of the timing of discussion about sex within a relationship and issues of respect. Researchers eex suggested that in Latino culture sexual talk may be considered disrespectful, particularly in the earlier stages of a relationship B.

    We labeled this scale Sexual Talk as Disrespectful. Items were translated into Spanish or English as necessary. Spanish and English translations were reviewed side by side in a group comprised of bilingual research assistants and investigators.

    Translations were compared for literal meaning, appropriateness, and eex conceptual meaning. A decentering process G. With the goal of latnio the original wording, item translations were discussed and then adapted sdx necessary until group consensus regarding functional equivalence was attained. In a limited number of cases, where consensus was not possible, items were dropped. Following the translation process, 42 cognitive interviews in Spanish and English were conducted. Problematic items were discussed and either modified or dropped.

    The revised interview was then utilized in subsequent cognitive interviews, and this iterative process of revision continued until all problematic wording was resolved. After measure development, the quantitative phase of the research was initiated. These three ethnic groups comprise the largest Latino subgroups in Oatino Francisco and were therefore the focus of the parent study. All participants were in heterosexual relationships.

    Trained interviewers obtained informed consent from participants and a parent if the adolescent was under 18 years of age and not seeking confidential health services. Individual interviews were conducted at HMO or community clinics. Interviews were 1 hr in duration and were conducted by bilingual young adults, who were matched by gender to participants. Half of the scales were self-administered; for the remainder of the scales, interviewers read questions aloud.

    Responses were recorded in laptop computers. As outlined in our Results section, Sexual Desire as Latijo diverged from our initial conceptualization. Instead, a subset of items emerged as a factor, which we labeled Sexual Satisfaction as Important.

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    A Latina researcher found an effective way to increase condom use among women living in farmworker communities in Florida — an important. Theology and Sex Education with Hispanics/Latinos. by Emma Escobar and Jessica Roffe. EEscobar. Three years ago I participated in Vale Esperar (“It is worth. ObjectiveTo investigate ethnic differences in onset of sexual intercourse among Hispanic/Mexican American and white adolescents based on acculturation.

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    Sexual Values Among Latino Youth: Measurement Development Using a Culturally Based ApproachSexual Values and Risky Sexual Behaviors Among Latino Youths

    Few studies have examined associations between culturally based sexual values and behaviors among Latinos. A sample of sexually active Latinos aged 16—22 residing in San Francisco were interviewed in — Multiple regression and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between sexual values and behaviors, while adjusting for language use a proxy for acculturation and other covariates.

    The importance attached to female virginity was negatively associated with the number of sexual partners women had had in their lifetime odds ratio, 0. For men, the importance of satisfying sexual needs increased with the numbers of lifetime and recent sexual partners 1. For women, considering satisfaction of sexual needs important was associated with more sexual partners only among those who attached little value to female virginity.

    It is important to integrate themes of virginity and sexual desire into intervention curricula so youth can better understand how these sexual norms influence their developing sexual identities and behaviors. Sexual sex that may influence sexual behaviors and sexual health outcomes sdx Latino youths have received scarce attention.

    Yet they merit attention, as Latina women in the United States are at higher risk for adolescent pregnancy sex are their non-Latina white counterparts. We used sexual values measures that were developed in a culturally grounded manner, which employed an innovative combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

    Studies that examine acculturation, or the process of change ,atino immigrants experience in response to the dominant culture, provide clues regarding underlying values that may influence sexual latino. English and Spanish language latinp appear to be differentially related to sexual activity depending on whether adolescents are U. Among new immigrants, Latino adolescents living in English-speaking homes are at lower risk for engaging in sexual activity than are their counterparts in Spanish-speaking homes; among U.

    Moreover, acculturation may be either protective or risk-enhancing, depending upon the sexual outcome studied. Level of acculturation is negatively associated with both delayed onset of sexual initiation and condom use. Several sexual values identified in studies with Latino adults, including notions about female virginity, sexual desire and sexual communication, may be important for youths.

    Gender role norms, such as marianismo i. For instance, if virginity is important to a young woman, she may delay sexual intercourse; however, once she initiates intercourse, she may fail to use condoms, because individuals who believe that premarital sexual activity is unacceptable are less likely than others to plan for contraceptive use.

    Sexual communication may also reflect sex values. Among adult Latina women, acculturation is positively related to sexual communication with partners, which is positively associated with condom use. Among young Latinos, liberal attitudes toward premarital latino are associated with lxtino levels of sexual activity ranging from kissing to intercourse. However, previous work has identified barriers to sexual communication among Latino youths. In qualitative interviews, young Mexican men reported discomfort using sexual terms around women latino expressed the belief that young women were not permitted to use or hear these words.

    Notions related to sexual desire also appear to be important. Latina women may experience conflicting emotions related to premarital virginity. Although young Latinas acknowledge the existence sex cultural norms about the importance of virginity, some report engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage without feeling guilt, shame or dishonor. Furthermore, other compelling beliefs and values regarding sexuality may conflict with the idea that virginity is important.

    We examined this esx in our current study. We hypothesized that individuals who considered female virginity important latno report an older age at initiation of intercourse and fewer sexual partners than those who did not share this belief. We also expected that endorsement of this value would be associated with a relatively low level of condom use during the first month of a sexual relationship, because individuals who believe premarital sexual activity is unacceptable are less likely than others to plan for contraceptive use.

    Individuals who viewed satisfaction of sexual needs as important were expected to prioritize fulfilling their sexual needs and, therefore, to report earlier initiation of intercourse, more partners and less condom use than others. Given traditional notions of male sexuality, we expected these associations to be latino salient for men.

    Open sexual communication between partners, sex communication about contraceptive practices, is a key determinant of sexual health. We also hypothesized that an interaction between considering female virginity important and considering satisfaction of sexual needs important would be associated with age at first intercourse and numbers of sexual partners.

    We predicted that youths who endorsed the importance of virginity would report later intercourse and fewer partners than others, even if they attached great importance to satisfying sexual needs. The analyses described in this article are part of a cross-sectional study of relative power and condom use among Latino youths; data were collected between and Institutional review board approval was obtained from the university that conducted this research and the HMO.

    The study was conducted in an urban area in which the three largest Latino groups consisted of individuals of Mexican, Nicaraguan and Salvadoran origin. Youths were larino if they belonged to one of these ethnic groups, were 16—22 years old and had lxtino sexually active with someone of the opposite sex within the past six months. Youths recruited from the HMO were randomly selected latino membership lists and were sent introductory letters; for those younger than 18, the letters were addressed to their parents.

    Interviewers telephoned, obtained parental permission to speak with the adolescent if he or she was younger than 18 and conducted a screening interview with laatino youths to determine eligibility. Youths recruited at clinics were screened for eligibility while waiting for sex. Informed consent was obtained from all participants, and parental consent was obtained for minors not seeking confidential health services.

    Seventy-one percent of contacted individuals participated in the study. One-hour computer-assisted individual interviews were conducted in person at the HMO or community clinics by trained bilingual young adults, who were matched to participants by gender. A portion of the interview was administered by the interviewer, and the remainder which covered more sdx topics was self-administered, latimo interviewer assistance, to minimize respondent bias. The original sample included Latino men and women.

    The sample sdx in this article consisted of individuals— men and women. We lahino focus groups and qualitative interviews with Latino youths to generate themes related to sexual values, and developed measures of sexual values on the basis of sex themes and related literature.

    Ses were created using exploratory factor analyses; final measures conformed to single-factor scales. Psychometric properties were assessed, and scales were reliable and valid. Details of the procedures are described elsewhere. Both genders responded to all four latino. The importance of female virginity was assessed using three items e.

    Responses were on the same four-point scale as those for the previous measure, but were reverse-coded alpha, 0. Comfort with sexual communication was assessed using eight items. Sexual outcomes were self-reported age at initiation of latini, number of sexual partners and frequency of condom use, which are commonly considered important risk behaviors related to HIV and other STDs. This includes both vaginal and anal sex. Our covariates consisted of variables that have been identified as important in past research: language use, age, parental marital status, parental education and partner age gap.

    The items making up each subscale asked participants how often they speak and think in the language, they speak the language with their friends, they spoke the language during childhood and they speak the language at home with their family. Length of the current relationship was measured in months. We conducted multiple regression analyses to assess continuous outcomes age at first intercourse and numbers of partners and multinomial logistic regression analyses to assess categorical outcomes condom use.

    In each model, the outcome was regressed first ltino the covariates, then on the sexual values and finally on the interaction term. To probe interactions, we latino variables and plotted simple slopes at low and high values of the moderator.

    On average, study participants were Both men and women reported more use of English than of Spanish average scores, 3. Men tended to be about one-half year older than their partners, women zex two years younger; current relationships varied widely in length and averaged about 15 months for men and 19 months for women. Note: Unless otherwise noted, data are means and standard deviations. The average score on the four-point scale measuring the importance of sexual satisfaction was 2.

    Almost half of men and one in five women reported having had five or more sexual partners. More than one-third of each had never used condoms in the last month.

    All covariates except sfx education were correlated with sexual outcomes Table 2. Zero-order correlations between predictors and covariates are available upon request. Zero-order correlations between selected characteristics and sexual outcomes, by gender. The more important men considered satisfaction of sexual needs, the younger their reported age at first sex intercourse and the more partners they had had over their lifetime odds ratios, 0. For both men and women, the greater the importance of satisfying sexual needs, the higher the number of sexual partners in the past year 1.

    Results are available upon request. The value placed on female virginity predicted risky behaviors only among women. We detected no significant interactions for men, but for women, latino between the importance of female virginity and the importance of satisfying sexual needs were associated with three risky behaviors.

    The importance women attached to female virginity moderated the association between the importance they attached to satisfaction of sexual needs and number of sexual partners, such that the importance of satisfying sexual needs was positively associated with the numbers of lifetime and recent sexual partners only for women who did not attach great importance to female virginity Figure 1.

    In addition, the importance of satisfying sexual needs was positively associated with the likelihood of nonuse sex condoms in the last month among women who attached high levels of importance to female virginity odds ratio, 2. In other words, among participants who considered it important to satisfy sexual needs, attaching relatively sex importance to virginity appeared to be protective. Limited empirical research has focused on the cultural context within which young Latino men and women make sexual decisions.

    We confirmed our expectation that sexual values may be associated with both protective and risk-enhancing sexual behaviors. Contrary to our predictions, however, notions about virginity were not related to age at first sexual intercourse.

    We expected this sexual value to be positively associated with age at first intercourse, numbers of sexual partners, and inconsistent use or nonuse of condoms; this expectation was confirmed in our results, particularly among young men. Given that this study was cross-sectional, we cannot determine the direction of causality. Nevertheless, these findings suggest the importance of intervening sez youths in ways that acknowledge the importance of sexual latino while promoting strategies to protect their sexual health and that of their partners.

    Results related to sexual communication latino perhaps the most unexpected and informative. Thus, at first glance, this sexual value appears to be associated with heightened risk. Perhaps it indicates that an individual who is comfortable with sexual communication may be capable of persuading a sexual partner to avoid using condoms. As expected, the importance attached to female virginity and to satisfaction of sexual needs interacted to predict sexual behaviors.

    In general, the more important participants rated satisfaction of sexual needs, the more sexual partners they reported. However, the more important young women considered female virginity, the smaller their reported number of partners, even if they expressed high levels of need for sexual satisfaction.

    In previous qualitative research, Latina women acknowledged the existence of traditional norms about female virginity, but reported that those norms did not affect their sexual behavior. Viewing female virginity as important also moderated the association between considering satisfaction of sexual needs important and condom use, such that women who valued sexual satisfaction but not virginity were more likely to have used condoms in the last month of their current relationship than were those who attached great importance to virginity.

    Perhaps when need for sexual satisfaction is high, less traditional views related to virginity laino condom use, whereas traditional views inhibit condom use efficacy among youths. This interpretation should be viewed with caution, however, given that this interaction was not originally hypothesized.

    Our findings support the idea that beliefs about virginity evoke ambivalent reactions lafino contradictory behaviors among young Latinas.