TitleCollateral consequences: implications of male incarceration rates, imbalanced sex ratios and partner availability for heterosexual Black women.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDauria, EF, Oakley, LP, Arriola, KJacob, Elifson, K, Wingood, G, Cooper, HLF
JournalCult Health Sex
Date Published2015
KeywordsAfrican Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Heterosexuality, Humans, Male, Marriage, Prisoners, Sexual Partners, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Social Environment, United States

While studies have found correlations between rates of incarceration and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), few studies have explored the mechanisms linking these phenomena. This qualitative study examines how male incarceration rates and sex ratios influence perceived partner availability and sexual partnerships for heterosexual Black women. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 Black women living in two US neighbourhoods, one with a high male incarceration rate and an imbalanced sex ratio (referred to as 'Allentown') and one with a low male incarceration rate and an equitable sex ratio (referred to as 'Blackrock'). Data were analysed using grounded theory. In Allentown, male incarceration reduced the number of available men, and participants largely viewed men available for partnerships as being of an undesirable quality. The number and desirability of men impacted on the nature of partnerships such that they were shorter, focused on sexual activity and may be with higher-risk sexual partners (e.g. transactional sex partners). In Blackrock, marriage rates contributed to the shortage of desirable male partners. By highlighting the role that the quantity and quality of male partners has on shaping sexual partnerships, this study advances current understandings of how incarceration and sex ratios shape HIV- and STI-related risk.

Alternate JournalCult Health Sex
PubMed ID26056724
PubMed Central IDPMC4578986
Grant ListF31 MH096630 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States