Antecedents of Young Women’s Sexual Risk Taking in Tourist Experiences

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The purpose of this phenomenological exploration was to shed light on the constellation of factors anteceding young women’s sexual risk taking during their tourist experiences. A total of 15 in-depth interviews (1.5 to 2.5 hours each) with 13 women were conducted and analyzed through the lens of transcendental phenomenology. An analysis of antecedent factors revealed a confluence of sociopersonal characteristics (e.g., sexual definitions, attitudes, double standards, and age) and touristic attributes (e.g., the sense of temporariness/ephemerality, anonymity, and fun-oriented mentality depending on length, destination, and type of tourist experience) that underlie women’s proclivity for and perceptions of sexual risk taking in certain travel scenarios. These result in myriad effects on physical, sexual health, sociocultural, mental, and emotional aspects of women’s health and well-being. While the sociopersonal antecedents highlight the cross-pollination between sex-related perceptions in everyday life and touristic environments, the touristic antecedents emphasize the uniqueness of tourist experiences as the contexts for sexual risk taking. The findings address an underresearched topic in sex and tourism scholarship and offer implications for health education and intervention programs, pointing to the value of constructing the context-specific and gender-sensitive sexual health messages underpinned by the ideas of women’s empowerment and sexual agency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-941
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 12 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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