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      Addressing Gendered Racism Against Black Girls Using a Strengths-Based Empowerment-Intersectional Framework for Sexual Health and Substance Use Prevention Programming

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          Abstract

          Although Black girls use substances at lower rates than boys and girls from various other racial groups, they tend to have worse health outcomes associated with substance use that can also impact their sexual health. The association between substance use and sexual risk behaviors is usually attributed to lack of access to quality health care and lack of culturally specific prevention programming and treatment options tailored to this group. Accordingly, the theoretical frameworks for health promotion for Black girls often focus on addressing deficits, ignoring the powerful and intersecting social forces that can impact identity, agency, and behavioral options. Key among these forces is gendered racism. We propose a strengths-based conceptual framework to address and challenge gendered racism as a critical foundation for promoting health and wellbeing for Black girls. Our approach integrates Intersectionality Theory and Empowerment Theory, with psychological and intrapersonal empowerment identified as critical mediators of behavior and health outcomes, supported by protective factors of positive racial identity and gendered racial socialization. This framework has been developed with and for Black girls but can be adapted for health promotion efforts with other minoritized groups.

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          Most cited references30

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          Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color

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            The problem with the phrase women and minorities: intersectionality-an important theoretical framework for public health.

            Intersectionality is a theoretical framework that posits that multiple social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status) intersect at the micro level of individual experience to reflect multiple interlocking systems of privilege and oppression at the macro, social-structural level (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism). Public health's commitment to social justice makes it a natural fit with intersectionality's focus on multiple historically oppressed populations. Yet despite a plethora of research focused on these populations, public health studies that reflect intersectionality in their theoretical frameworks, designs, analyses, or interpretations are rare. Accordingly, I describe the history and central tenets of intersectionality, address some theoretical and methodological challenges, and highlight the benefits of intersectionality for public health theory, research, and policy.
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              Black Feminist Thought

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Health Promotion Practice
                Health Promotion Practice
                SAGE Publications
                1524-8399
                1552-6372
                May 11 2023
                : 152483992311711
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA
                [2 ]Martin Psychological Services, Nashville, TN, USA
                [3 ]Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
                [4 ]Yale Child Study Center, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA
                Article
                10.1177/15248399231171145
                694399e9-cf12-45ca-b316-8c80a54c23d5
                © 2023

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

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