Dr. Bronwen Lichtenstein’s Research on HIV Risk Appears in Culture, Health & Sexuality

Dr. Lichtenstein’s article, titled “Ricky and Lucy: gender stereotyping among young Black men who have sex with men in the US Deep South and the implications for HIV risk in a severely affected population” and co-authored with Emma Sophia Kay, Ian Klinger, and Matt G. Mutchler, appears in the latest issue of the journal Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. The article’s abstract is below.

HIV disproportionately affects young Black men who have sex with men in the USA, with especially high rates in the Deep South. In this Alabama study, we interviewed 24 pairs of young Black men who have sex with men aged 19–24 and their close friends (n = 48) about sexual scripts, dating men and condom use. Three main themes emerged from the study: the power dynamics of ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ sexual positions for condom use; gender stereotyping in the iconic style of the ‘I Love Lucy’ show of the 1950s; and the sexual dominance of ‘trade’ men. Gender stereotyping was attributed to the cultural mores of Black families in the South, to the preferences of ‘trade’ men who exerted sexual and financial control and to internalised stigma relating to being Black, gay and marginalised. The findings suggest that HIV prevention education for young Black men who have sex with men is misguided if gendered power dynamics are ignored, and that funded access to self-protective strategies such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis could reduce HIV risk for this severely affected population.

The full text of the article is available online.