Human Sexuality in a Diverse WorldHuman Sexuality in a Diverse World

Подпись: Ithough there has been significant growth in the scientific study of sexuality within the last 20 years, many specific populations, such as African American men and women, have not been equally studied (Lewis & Kertzner, 2003). Because of this, there have been many myths about the sexuality of African American men and women. Black women have typically been portrayed as overly sexed women with uncontrollable lust. Black men and women are often viewed as "super sex- perts" because they are supposed to know a lot about sexuality and engage in a lot of sex (Wyatt, 1999). They have been portrayed as sexually promiscuous, unable to control their sex drives or satisfy their sexual urges, and as "baby makers" (Grimes, 1999). Many of these myths surfaced during slavery out of the desire to scare white women away from black men, while allowing white men to sexually exploit black women (Leavy, 1993). One of the most prominent early sexuality researchers, Alfred Kinsey, did include African Americans in his study, but his sample size was small and select (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953; we will discuss more of Kinsey's work in Chapter 2). Studies that followed Kinsey focused on the differences be-tween black and white sexuality and ig-nored the diversity and richness of black sexuality. Many of these studies sup-ported the myths about black sexuality. Studies on African American sexuality have found that black men and women are very conservative in their sexual Подпись: behavior (Bowser, 2001; Leavy, 1993; Lewis & Kertzner, 2003) . Gail Wyatt, a sex therapist, researcher, and professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has been researching black sexuality for over 15 years. In 1998, she published Stolen Women: Reclaiming Our Sexuality, Taking Back Our Lives. Although we will discuss her book more throughout this textbook, here let me cite some of her interesting findings: • 83% of black women did not masturbate during childhood. • 74% of white women and 26% of black women (between the ages of 18 and 36) had 13 or more sexual partners. • 56% of black women had only one sexual partner from the time they initiated sexual intercourse until age 17, whereas only 36% of white women re-ported a long-term relationship during adolescence. • Black men (72%) are more likely to use condoms for birth control and STI protection than white men (37%). • 93% of white women and 55% of black women have had oral sex per-formed on them, whereas 93% of white women and 65% of black women have performed oral sex on a man. Other studies have found that African American gay and bisexual men who have integrated their identification as both African American and gay have higher levels of self-esteem, greater levels of life satisfaction, and lower levels of male gender-role distress than those who have not integrated these identities (Crawford, Allison, Zamboni, & Sotot, 2002).

Sex in Black America

number of males killed in war. White men freely raped female Native Americans, for whites could not be convicted of rape, or any crime, solely on the testimony of a “sav­age Indian.” Similarly, Americans used sexual imagery to criticize the Mexicans they en­countered in the West and Southwest; one writer claimed that all “darker colored” races were “inferior and syphilitic” (D’Emilio & Freedman, 1988). Mexicans, who were reli­gious Catholics with strict sexual rules, were considered promiscuous by the Protestants because they did not consider it wrong to dance or show affection in public. The settlers often criticized others for sexual behaviors, such as homosexuality and premarital sex, that were not uncommon in their own communities.