Female adolescent sexuality in a coloured community

Lesch, Elmien (2000-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

218 leaves printed on single pages, preliminary pages i-xvii and numbered pages 1-200. Includes bibliography and list of tables.

Digitized at 600 dpi grayscale to pdf format (OCR), using a Bizhub 250 Konica Minolta Scanner.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Little is known about women's sexuality and even less about female adolescent sexuality. Sex researchers have neglected women, young women and specifically young women of colour and of lower socio-economic status. These gaps in sex research have to be addressed for at least two important reasons. In the first place an understanding of female adolescent sexuality will enhance our understanding of female development in general. More specifically, the prevalence of reproductive health problems like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancies among female adolescents warrant urgent attention. This study attempted to address the need for data on female sexuality by focusing on coloured female adolescents in the Stellenbosch district. This target group has been chosen because of the extent of adolescent reproductive health problems, specifically the prevalence of teenage pregnancy, in the low-income coloured community. The objective of the study was to gain an understanding of adolescent female sexuality in a specific community. This goal was reached by collecting quantitative and qualitative data about sexuality from a group of high school learners from a historically coloured community in the Stellenbosch district. Structured questionnaires were used to elicit the quantitative data. The quantitative data were analysed to determine the following (i) the range of sexual behaviours, and (ii) the prevalence of high-risk behaviours that the respondents engaged in. The quantitative results indicate that the research respondents did not represent a sexually high-risk community. Sexual intercourse was limited to a relatively small number of respondents. The sexual behaviour of these respondents, in general, did not differ meaningfully from the sexual behaviour reported in other adolescent communities. Open-ended interviews were used to generate the qualitative data. Twenty-five sexually active girls were interviewed. The grounded theory method was used to analyse the qualitative data and to explore the respondents' constructions of sexuality. Lack of sexual agency and need for connection were identified as the core categories in the interview data. The interview data indicated that the respondents had limited sexual agency and the researcher argued that mothers and boyfriends, as agents of the community, were prominent contributors to sexual disempowerment. The use of the term "coloured" is controversial. It is viewed by some as derogatory, whilst others argue the importance of a 'coloured' identity. Here and throughout the term "coloured" will be used descriptively. The researcher concluded that a new discourse of sexual agency for young women must be developed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar bestaan min data oor vroulike seksualiteit en selfs nog minder oor vroulike adolessente seksualiteit. In die verlede het seksnavorsers vroue, jong vroue en spesifiek gekleurde en lae sosio-ekonomiese vroue verwaarloos. Hierdie tekortkominge in seksnavorsing behoort om ten minste twee belangrike redes aangespreek te word. Eerstens sal 'n begrip van vroulike adolessente seksualiteit ons begrip van vroulike ontwikkeling in die algemeen bevorder. 'n Meer spesifieke rede is dat die die vookoms van reproduktiewe gesondheidsprobleme soos seksueel-oordraagbare siektes en onbeplande swangerskappe onder vroulike adolessente, dringende aandag vereis. Hierdie studie het gepoog om die behoefte aan data oor seksuele gedrag in verskillende Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskappe aan te spreek deur te fokus op "kleurling" vroulike adolessente in die Stellenbosch-distrik. Hierdie groep is geselekteer vanwee die omvang van adolessente reproduktiewe gesondheidsprobleme, veral die voorkoms van tienerswangerskappe, in die "kleurling" gemeenskap. Die doel van die studie was om 'n begrip te kry van adolessente vroulike seksualiteit in 'n spesifieke gemeenskap. Kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe data is versamel oor die seksualiteit van 'n groep hoerskoolleerders wat woonagtig was in 'n histories "kleurling" gemeenskap in die Stellenbosch-distrik. 'n Gestruktureerde vraelys is gebruik om die kwantitatiewe data in te win. Die kwantitatiewe data is geanaliseer om (i) die reeks van seksuele gedrag wat by die respondente voorkom en (ii) die voorkoms van hoe risiko seksuele gedrag onder die respondente te bepaal. Die kwantitatiewe resultate het aangedui dat die navorsingsrespondente nie 'n hoe risiko groep verteenwoordig nie. Seksuele gemeenskap was beperk tot 'n relatiewe klein hoeveelheid respondente. In die algemeen, het die seksuele gedrag van die respondente nie betekenisvol verskil van die seksuele gedrag wat gerapporteer is vir ander adolessente populasies nie. Oop-einde onderhoude is gebruik om die kwalitatiewe data te genereer. Onderhoude is gevoer met vyf en twintig seksueel aktiewe meisies. Die "grounded theory" metode is gebruik om die kwalitatiewe data te analiseer en die respondente se konstruksies van seksualiteit te eksploreer. Gebrek aan seksuele agentskap en behoefte aan konneksie is geidentifiseer as die kernkategoriee in die onderhoudsdata. Die onderhoudsdata het aangedui dat die respondente oor beperkte seksuele agentskap beskik. Die navorser het aangevoer dat moeders en mansvriende, as agente van die gemeenskap, 'n prominente bydrae tot gebrek aan seksuele bemagtiging maak. Die navorser het tot die konklusie gekom dat 'n nuwe diskoers van seksuele agentskap vir jong vroue ontwikkel behoort te word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/15492
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