Abstract

This study aimed to describe implications of emotions on sexual safety decision making from perspectives of Black young women, ages 18 to 25. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted among the sample. Qualitative methods were used to analyze text data generated from the participants. Participants described sexual safety as individualized and dynamic using efforts to protect emotional and physical well-being. Themes included: (a) learning about and developing the authentic self and (b) negotiating emotional vulnerabilities. Researchers should consider broadening language of sexual safety and develop interventions capturing young women’s emotional well-being to optimize sexual health.

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