TitleSexual Health Information Networks: What are Urban African American Youth Learning?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDolcini, MM, Catania, JA, Harper, GW, Boyer, CB, Richards, KAM
JournalResearch in human development
Date Published2012

This qualitative study examined sexual health information networks among urban African American youth living in low-income communities. The authors identified sources, message content, and utility of messages about sex and sexual health in a sample of 15-17-year olds (N = 81). Youth received sexual health information from a variety of sources. Messages from parents and sex education had high utility, whereas messages from the Internet and religion had low utility. Four information network patterns were identified, suggesting considerable variation in how youth are socialized regarding sex. Findings suggest that sexual information networks have the potential to affect sexual health and development.