Risky Sexual Behavior

A Race-specific Social Consequence of Obesity

Tamara Leech, Janice Johnson Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scant attention has been given to the consequence of actual weight status for adolescents' sexual wellbeing. In this article, we investigate the race-specific connection between obesity and risky sexual behavior among adolescent girls. Propensity scores and radius matching are used to analyze a sample of 340 adolescents aged 16-17 who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Young Adult Survey in 2000 or 2002. Nearly even numbers of these participants identified as white and black (183 and 157, respectively). We find that compared to their non-obese white peers, obese white adolescent girls exhibit higher rates of multiple sex partners and sex with older partners, and are also less likely to use condoms. None of these factors are significantly related to high BMI within the black sample. These findings indicate that the negative social consequences of obesity extend beyond future economic and marriage outcomes to adolescent white women's sexual outcomes. They also highlight the importance of context: the implications of being obese during adolescence depend on cultural meanings of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

Fingerprint

social effects
Sexual Behavior
Obesity
adolescent
adolescence
Propensity Score
young adult
Sexual Partners
Condoms
marriage
Marriage
Longitudinal Studies
Young Adult
Economics
Weights and Measures
economics

Keywords

  • Adolescent health
  • Consequences of obesity
  • Obesity
  • Obesity stigma
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Weight-based stigma

Cite this

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Risky Sexual Behavior : A Race-specific Social Consequence of Obesity. / Leech, Tamara; Dias, Janice Johnson.

In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 41, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 41-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Dias, Janice Johnson

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