Portuguese American gay men in southeastern Massachusetts: cultural scripts and risk for HIV

Kathleen M. Jordan, Asal M. Johnson, James A. Johnson, Jeremy Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we examined the lived experiences of an understudied subgroup, Portuguese American gay men, within the context of sexual script theory. We employed a phenomenological study design with eight men to provide a more in-depth analysis of their sociocultural sexual behaviours. Recruitment was conducted through word of mouth and a snowball approach beginning with two well-known HIV education and prevention outreach centres in southeastern Massachusetts. In this study, the sexual scripts of the participants were conceptualised within the three domains of cultural, interpersonal and intrapsychic scripts. Our findings suggest the three scripts are constantly interacting and informing one another. This ongoing negotiation influences the way our participants position their sexuality within the broader context of their everyday life within the US Portuguese community. Participants script their sexuality while they navigate multiple but separate entities within their culture, their religion and their families. Learning from these experiences could have important implications for the development of HIV prevention programmes for specific subgroups of men who have sex with men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1191
Number of pages12
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016


  • HIV risk
  • Portuguese American
  • USA
  • gay men
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexual script theory


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