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The Social Construction and Conceptualization of Sexual Health Among Mexican American Women

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Abstract:

Research on the social construction and contextualization of sexual health among Latina women is sparse. This ethnographic study was aimed to bridge this gap by exploring sexual health experiences and behaviors of a Latina subgroup, Mexican American women. A series of individual semistructured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 Mexican American women from a sexual and reproductive health clinic in a large Southwestern city with a predominantly Mexican American population. Through thematic analysis, sacrificing of self, sexual silence, and taking control of self emerged as themes. These themes reflect the context within which construction of sexual health occurs and sexual health behaviors are influenced. Study findings are discussed within a socio-cultural framework for sexual health promotion intervention for both adolescent and adult Mexican American women.

Keywords: CULTURE; MEXICAN AMERICAN; SEXUAL HEALTH; WOMEN

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/rtnp.2005.19.4.357

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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