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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. High risk sexual behaviors HRSB are one of many problem behaviors, including relationship violence and substance use, which often cluster together among adolescents in high risk settings. Adolescent gang members often show the highest rates of HRSB, substance use and relationship violence. This paper uses 58 in-depth interviews with male and female gang members from 6 different gangs. We explore the role of gangs as powerful socializing peer groups that set gender, sexual and relationship roles and expectations for their male and female Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings.
HRSB among gangs included sex with multiple partners and group sex. Gang norms included the belief that male members were sexually insatiable with multiple sexual partners and that female members should be sexually available to male members. Alcohol and drugs were seen to have a large influence on sexual desire and the inability to use condoms.
Much sexual behavior with gangs, such as group sex, was viewed with ambivalence and seen as somewhat coercive. Finally, the gendered sexual expectations boys as sexually insatiable and girls as sexually available made forming long-term romantic relationships difficult for gang members.
The influence of gang norms on HRSB must be addressed in interventions with gang members. High risk sexual behaviors HRSB are one of many problem behaviors that often cluster together among adolescents in high risk settings, particularly adolescent gang members Clark et al.
Among the adolescent risk behaviors that often accompany HRSB are antisocial behavior and conduct problems, delinquency, academic difficulties, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use Reider, Robertson, and SimsCapaldi Adolescents and young adults are disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Among adolescents who exhibit multiple problem behaviors, adolescent gang members are at elevated risk in terms of Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings problem behaviors exhibited and their seriousness.
For example, in a study of detained adolescents, adolescents who reported having been in a gang were 5. Adolescent gang members are at highest risk for abusing drugs and alcohol when compared with other inner-city adolescents who are not gang members Thornberry et al. Research has also shown that gang membership is associated with adolescent dating violence Borowsky, Hogan, and Ireland Finally, recent reports have revealed high rates of sexual assault, coercion and exploitation within gangs BrookingsWiseBerelowitz et al.
Girls within gangs are often treated as commodities and are expected to have sex with members of their gangs, or to ensnare rival gang members WiseBeckett et al. This research has shown that many unwanted sexual encounters, including sex with someone incapacitated by alcohol, are not generally labeled as rape by gang members who view rape as only involving explicit force between strangers Coy et al. One reason that problem behaviors cluster together in adolescent subgroups such as gangs is that these behaviors are often mutually reinforcing Elliott, Huizinga, and Menard Drugs or alcohol can impair cognitions or make it difficult for Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings to use condoms or contraception during sex Houck et al.
Risky sexual behaviors can also lead to fear and regret and alcohol and drugs may be used to cope with these feelings Kuo et al. Alcohol and drugs use also often precede dating and are used after violence as a coping mechanism Kuo et al.
However, the mutually reinforcing properties of multiple risk behaviors do not explain why gang members exhibit more risk behaviors than other groups. Dishion and colleagues hypothesize that economic hardship, academic difficulties and attenuated family relationships in early childhood lead to peer rejection at school, which lead adolescents to seek approval from alternative peer groups, most often deviant peer groups Dishion, Ha, and Veronneau Many researchers have argued that multiple marginalizations such as experiences of Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings, poor quality schools and limited economic opportunities lead to a rejection of conventional institutions and norms Vigil Gangs are a powerful peer group with numerous social mechanisms in place to maintain and increase group cohesion in the face of external threats Klein and Maxson Intervention research has shown that attempts to work with gangs as a unit generally increases the social cohesion of gangs which increases their problem behaviors Klein and Maxson Because of the importance of the gang as a peer group, it is important to understand HRSB and in the context of gang norms regarding gender Miller Connell ConnellConnell and Messerschmidt has argued that societies contain multiple masculinities and that groups that are blocked from attaining the hegemonic masculinity in a society embrace alternative masculine norms and ideals.
In the United States, hegemonic masculinity includes achieving high status through education and high paying jobs.
For those who are blocked from achieving these goals, like gang members, masculine norms include a willingness to Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings violence and sexual prowess Whitehead These feelings often include ambivalence and regret revealing recognition that sexual practices within gangs are sometimes coercive. These reveal limits to the power of peer norms that provides room for intervention. In addition, conflicting feelings about sex and gender norms may have psychological consequences for gang members.
We use multiple masculinities as a theoretical framework, arguing that gangs reinforce these norms as a powerful peer group. We will also explore the role of alcohol and drugs in each of these experiences and the presence of ambivalence and sexual regret. Finally, we will explore the intervention implications of our findings.
Between June and Julywe conducted 58 semi-structured interviews with members of six adolescent African American and Latino gangs in a mid-sized Midwestern city. Gangs were purposively selected to represent differences in size and ethnic composition in order to explore whether size or ethnicity had an effect on participation in drug selling and substance use and girls roles and status within gangs, as seen in some studies MacKenzie, Hunt, and Joe-LaidlerEsbensen, Deschenes, and Winfree However, no differences based on ethnicity or size of gang were found.
One primarily African American gang and one primarily Latino gang were larger, mixed-gender gangs, while the other gangs were smaller, racially diverse mixed-gender gangs. Inclusion criteria were active membership in one of the six identified gangs, being 14 to 19 years old, and the ability to provide informed consent.
Ability to speak English was not an inclusion criterion, although it was the language preferred by all participants. The first gang members were recruited by key informants, or adults in the neighborhood with ties to a specific gang. Potential participants were given information about the study by key informants and a phone to contact project staff who carefully screened participants for eligibility and to ensure that no coercion had taken place.
Research assistants were an African American woman and Latino man, both of whom had years of experience providing social services to active gang members and were trained in qualitative interviewing. Upon completion of the interview, participants received two referral cards to recruit additional gang members into the study. Participants were Mean age was 18 years old. Participants had been in the gang for an average of 5 years range one month to 8 yearsand had ed on average at the age of 13 range 10 to 17 years old.
All participants completed written informed consent prior to screening given the sensitivity of the screening questions. The consent form was read verbatim and participants were given the opportunity to ask any questions. Informed consent and project protocols were approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Interviews were conducted in English, digitally recorded, and lasted Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings one hour.
Interviews took place in community-based settings that were comfortable and accessible to participants, including community organizations and churches. The two research assistants conducted all interviews, and interviews with female members were conducted by the female research assistant given the sensitivity of the interview questions.
The semi-structured interviews were based on an interview guide created collaboratively with the Principal Investigator, co-investigators, and research assistants, which outlined topics to be covered during the interview, allowing flexibility to probe, ask follow up questions, and explore certain areas in more depth. Interview questions covered sexual experiences, including sexual debut, experiences of sex within the gang, group sex and relationships, and current drug and alcohol use. See appendix for interview guide.
We coded all transcripts by gender, ethnicity, and gang, to explore differences among gangs or across gender and ethnicity of gang members. We examined transcripts to identify primary coding and themes. An initial codebook was created to capture broad content areas and key analytical concepts evident across interviews, including sexual experiences, gender norms, male Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings female roles within the gang, and drug and alcohol use.
The codebook was created collaboratively with input from the PI, the research team, and the research assistants who conducted the interviews, and included code definitions and guidance on what themes and topics should be included in a given code. Codes were refined using an iterative process throughout the analysis.
As additional interviews were conducted and new themes emerged, changes to the codebook and refinement of codes occurred after discussion with the research team.
All transcripts were coded by at least two coders, and discrepancies were resolved by consensus. We analyzed the transcripts for emergent themes and patterns using a constant comparative method, characterized by repeated coding, analysis, and interpretation Boejie We explored the differences and similarities within and between male and female gang members across the larger themes. Specifically, we analyzed data for similarities and differences Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings sexual and relationship experiences, the role of substance use in these experiences, and how they were interpreted by male and female gang members.
The final phase of analysis consisted of summarizing major themes related to the sexual experiences among male and female gang members, looking for salient themes, as well as outliers and contradictions to protect against overgeneralizations. Emblematic quotes were selected to represent ideas, thoughts, or experiences consistent across interviews, or to highlight differing or contradictory experiences, thoughts, or attitudes. Both boy and girl gang members reported having sex for the first time at a very young age, usually before 16 years old and sometimes as young as This was also the age range in which participants reported ing gangs.
Participants reported ing gangs out of economic necessity as gangs provided them with opportunities to earn money by selling drugs Authors pub in press. Most participants also reported considerable difficulty in school including failing grades, suspensions and expulsions, frequent truancy and ultimately, school drop out.
As success through school seemed more remote for participants, gang membership became more attractive Authors pub. In press. Both boys and girls described feeling peer pressure to have sex at an early age. As most participants spent some time with gang members before officially ing, gang members were typically the peer group that most influenced boys and girls decisions to have sex.
For some girls, this pressure led to feelings of regret and that they had sex too early, or with a partner who did not really care about them as much as they had thought. While some boys described having their first sexual experience with a girlfriend or other girls they knew, some boys 5 described that their first sexual experiences occurred within the gang. None of the girls reported having had their first sexual experiences within the gang.
For five of the boys, their first sexual experience occurred shortly after their initiations into the gang with an older female member who was told to have sex with the boy in celebration. Male Participant: I think I was, you know, And it was a party, you know.
I had just basically officially, Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings know, kinda was initiated in a couple weeks before. It was an older girl. Had to be 16, 17 or whatever. What can I say?Beautiful ladies looking real sex Brookings
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