Feminine gender norms and syndemic harmful drinking, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted infections among Black women at risk for HIV

Erica Chan, Christina J. Catabay, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Abby E. Rudolph, Jamila K. Stockman, Kiyomi Tsuyuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study examined the associations between feminine gender ideologies (i.e., socially constructed attitudes and beliefs of women's appropriate behavior and roles) and the syndemic comorbidities of harmful alcohol use, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted infections (STI), which disproportionately affect Black women. Methods: Black women, aged 18–44 (n = 305) were recruited from STI clinics in Baltimore, MD into a retrospective cohort study. A survey assessed feminine gender ideologies using a measure of hyperfemininity and sexual hyperfemininity (subscale of sexual domains), harmful drinking (AUDIT), lifetime STI (Y/N and count), and syndemic burden (no burden [0−1 morbidity] and syndemic burden [2−3 comorbidities]). Multivariable regression models identified correlates of harmful drinking, STI, and syndemic burden. The analytic sample included (n = 231) women with complete data. Results: Nearly half of our sample reported high hyperfemininity and high sexual hyperfemininity, 23% reported harmful drinking, 39% experienced sexual violence as an adult, and 74% reported a lifetime STI. High sexual hyperfemininity (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 1.94, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.00–3.76) and sexual violence (AOR = 2.82, 95%CI: 1.43–5.58) were associated with greater odds of harmful drinking. Experiencing sexual violence in adulthood was associated with an increased count of lifetime STIs (Adjusted Incidence Rate Ratio [AIRR] = 1.33, 95%CI: 1.06–1.68). Syndemic burden affected 41% of our sample. High sexual hyperfemininity was associated with experiencing syndemic burden in unadjusted models (OR = 1.98, 95%CI: 1.16–3.37), but was not significant after controlling for confounders. Conclusions: Interventions to reduce harmful drinking and STIs among Black women in the U.S. should address sexual gender ideologies and sexual violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108566
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Alcohol
  • Black women
  • Gender ideologies
  • STIs
  • Syndemic
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Feminine gender norms and syndemic harmful drinking, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted infections among Black women at risk for HIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this