Cross-Cultural Differences and Sexual Risk Behavior of Emerging Adults

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The authors examined population-specific risk factors that increase emerging adults' risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Design and Method:

A cross-sectional sample of 335 diverse, emerging adults ages 18 to 24 years was recruited from a health center at a large university in the Southeastern United States. The mean age was 20.6 ± 1.9 years, majority were females (74.0%), and 61.0% were Hispanic.


Findings revealed inconsistent condom use, reasons for not using condoms, and a need for more culturally specific intervention strategies.

Discussion and Conclusions:

Healthcare providers should identify culturally specific reasons for inconsistent condom use, examine cultural and geographic differences in sexual risk behaviors among groups and communities, and modify communication, educational programs, and interventions accordingly.

Implications for Practice:

By adopting a multicultural approach to the control of STIs, nurses can address specific cultural attitudes and behaviors that may influence exposure to STIs, including HPV.

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