Sexual communication among young adult heterosexual latinos: A qualitative descriptive study

Carmen Paula Alvarez, Antonia Villarruel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sexual communication between sexual partners is an important component in prevention efforts against unintended consequences of sex. The purpose of this study was to describe sexual communication among young adult Latinos. Four semistructured, sex-segregated focus groups were used for this study. Participants (N 5 20) were 18-30 years old self-identified Latinos who were in heterosexual and sexually active relationships (more than 3 months). Participants revealed that initial sexual communication with their partners was avoided related to a lack of interest in a partner's sexual history, feeling embarrassed about the topic, or concern for offending one's partner or partner's family. As a result of these beliefs and attitudes, initial sexual communication was nonverbal and focused on sexual pleasure. After the initiation of sexual activity, verbal sexual communication expanded to include sexual history. These findings highlight the importance of attitudes and subjective norms toward verbal sexual communication. Attitudes and subjective norms toward sexual communication in the context of a romantic relationship and how it may impact sexual behavior in the relationship should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 9 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Barriers
  • Facilitators
  • Latinos
  • Sexual communication
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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