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Abstract

Historically, religiosity and attendance at a church with a majority African American or Black population was of practical value for African Americans, these branches of practicality extended to sexual health, such as delayed sexual intercourse and higher instances of using contraception. Overall, however, public sexual discourses show some African American communities as “at risk” regarding sexual health, which can make an African American individual feel negatively about their sexual experiences. The current study aimed to understand how subjective religiosity and organized religiosity influenced African Americans to experience a positive, negative, or shameful sexual affect, We found that higher levels of subjective religiosity, meaning a personal form of religion and not just physical attendance at a religious institution, would was positively correlated with a positive sexual affect among our sample of African Americans (N = 725, r = .11, p = .02). Through regression analysis, subjective religiosity was more influential in predicting sexual affect than organized religious involvement. The implications show that to gain support for sexual decisions and behaviors, African American individuals in religious communities will pick and choose what principles remain beneficial and applicable from religious teachings and utilize them to form their own subjective religiosity that supports their sexual experiences.

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