photo of three women

CDIS Faculty Affiliates, Drs. Natasha Crooks and Randi Singer, and CDIS Director, Dr. Geri Donenberg published an article in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior on “The Role of the Strong Black Woman in Black Female Sexual Development.” The paper explores the disproportionate impact of sexual health disparities on black girls and women and utilizes the Becoming a Sexual Black Woman (SBW) framework. Using a secondary thematic data analysis of Black girls and women ranging in age from 11 to 62 (N = 40), findings revealed that Black women are socialized to be strong and independent and yet are highly vulnerable to HIV/STI. The clash between Black girl’s and women’s ideals of strength and heightened vulnerability to HIV/STI represents a paradox that may help explain disparities in HIV/STI risk. Four themes emerged among both Black girls and women: complex construction of the SBW schema, burden and consequences of strength, pressure to be strong, and being strong and sexual. Findings also highlight how becoming both a strong and sexual Black woman occurs over the life course and is inherent to Black female sexual development. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for parents, healthcare providers, educators, and researchers with the aim to improve sexual health outcomes for Black females across the life course.

Crooks N, Barrie R, Singer R, Donenberg G. The Role of the Strong Black Woman in Black Female Sexual Development. Arch Sex Behav. 2023 May;52(4):1389-1402. doi: 10.1007/s10508-023-02529-2. Epub 2023 Jan 18. PMID: 36652135.