Black men in the USA experience disproportionately high rates of HIV infection, particularly in the Southeastern part of the country. We conducted 90 qualitative in-depth interviews with Black men living in the state of Georgia and analysed the transcripts using Sexual Script Theory to: (1) characterise the sources and content of sexual scripts that Black men were exposed to during their childhood and adolescence and (2) describe the potential influence of formative scripts on adult HIV sexual risk behaviour. Our analyses highlighted salient sources of cultural scenarios (parents, peers, pornography, sexual education and television), interpersonal scripts (early sexplay, older female partners, experiences of child abuse) and intrapsychic scripts that participants described. Stratification of participant responses based on sexual-risk behaviour revealed that lower- and higher-risk men described exposure to similar scripts during their formative years; however, lower-risk men reported an ability to cognitively process and challenge the validity of risk-promoting scripts that they encountered. Implications for future research are discussed.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thurka_sangaramoorthy/2/