Giving Women Their Voices: Breaking the Cycle of Victimhood

Are women with more power in their intimate relationships better able to break the link between their abusive pasts and putting themselves at risk in the future? According to Connell’s Theory of Gender and Power, the inequality of power between men and women often leads to abuse. This victimization increases the likelihood that women will engage in risky sexual behaviors. But it has also been shown that balancing relationship power between the sexes leads to increased HIV prevention practices such as condom use in African American women.

University of Cincinnati graduate student Chizara Ahuama-Jonas investigates whether sexual relationship power weakens the link between previous abuse and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. She will present her findings on Saturday, August 9, at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. The presentation will be part of a larger session entitled “Empowerment: Giving Women Their Voices.”

Ahuama-Jonas is a graduate student in UC’s clinical psychology program. She is currently working with UC psychology professor Dr. Kathy Burlew to create a culturally adapted intervention, seeking to lower the rates of HIV-related risky sexual behaviors in substance-abusing African American women. She is conducting her study as a secondary analysis of an evaluation of Safer Sex Skills Building, an evaluation of an HIV risk reduction intervention for substance abusing women, conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Additional UC Research

More information on

additional UC research presented

at the APA annual convention is available online.

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