As Hispanic persons in the U.S. are exposed to U.S. culture, changes may occur in values, attitudes, and behavior. This process of change has been called acculturation. The objectives of this research were to describe the sexual behavior of low income, urban Hispanic youth in Detroit and to evaluate the relationship of acculturation to sexual behavior. Data were drawn from a household probability sample of 711 low income, urban youth. The relationship of acculturation to sexual activity, types of intercourse, number and ethnicity of partners, condom use, and use of other methods were estimated for never married men and women. Level of acculturation was associated with sexual behavior. Specifically, women with high acculturation were much more likely to have had at least one sexual partner in the last year, to have non-Hispanic partners, to have oral and anal sex, and to have used condoms. For men, high acculturation was positively associated with oral sex and having non-Hispanic partners. Use of contraceptive methods other than condoms was not related to acculturation for either gender. For women, the strong association of acculturation with sexual activity in the last year increased women's exposure to health risks, sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancy, although increased condom use may have reduced these risks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- History and Philosophy of Science