Sister Act: Understanding Sorority Women's Communication About Condom Use



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Young women?s sexual health is declining. Sorority women face an intersectionality of risk for the negative consequences of sexual activity because of college attendance, sex, and age. The influence of peer communication about condom use can provide a buffer to the risk these women face. I investigated this communication through focus groups, using the theory of communication privacy management and grounded theory to understand focus group findings. The results revealed themes regarding characteristics of communicators and context of communication including communication topic and setting. The women use strategies, boundaries and rules to negotiate communication privacy and engage in comfortable communication. Additionally, the women seek to maintain a good reputation for their social group, and follow explicit and implicit rules to do so. The implication of this analysis includes improvements in sorority and college student sexual health programming and continued research on communication in social support organizations like sororities.