Constructions of male adolescent sexuality : an exploratory study in a coloured, rural community

Bremridge, Carey (Carey Glenda) (2000-12)

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

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Statistics indicate that not only HIV-infection and AIDS but all sexual and reproductive health problems are increasing globally. In order to address these issues the socio-cultural context in which sexual behaviour is expressed must be understood. Given that sexual health risks are compounded by socio-political and socio-economic issues, researchers must direct their focus to high-risk, low socio-economic communities. Adolescents have been identified as a prime target for sexual awareness and preventative programmes and research has stressed the importance of gaining an understanding of adolescent sexuality, in order to address the sexual health risks that threaten adolescents. In addition, there is a paucity of research on especially the role of the male adolescent in the study of sexual and reproductive health. In the current study, constructions of male adolescent sexuality in traditionally coloured and rural communities were explored. The nature of the research was exploratory and the aims were to determine the range and frequency of sexual behaviour that male adolescents in a specific community engage in and secondly, explore male adolescents' constructions of their sexuality and sexual behaviour in intimate heterosexual sexual relationships. Multiple methods of data collection were utilised. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 179 male adolescents between the age of 15 and 21, at two schools in the rural areas surrounding Stellenbosch. The data from the questionnaire was quantitatively analysed. Seven in-depth interviews were conducted with male adolescents between the age of 16 and 18. The data from the interviews was analysed qualitatively. An analysis of the data indicated that male adolescents' ability to take control over safe sex practices are undermined by attempts to defend and conceal their sexual behaviour and sexuality. Male adolescents from traditionally coloured and rural areas distance and externalise their sexual behaviour and sexuality. Sexual behaviour is explained and understood as being directed by external factors and by fear of negative evaluation by peers and parents. Such a construction of sexuality continues to prevent male adolescents from understanding and constructing their sexuality as self-owned and self-directed. In turn this construction continues to result in behaviour that runs counter to safe sex guidelines.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Statistieke toon dat alle seksueel-oordraagbare siektes en reproduktiewe gesondheidsprobleme, insluitend HIV-infeksie en VIGS, op globale vlak toeneem. Ten einde hierdie probleme aan te spreek is dit noodsaaklik om die sosio-kulturele konteks van seksualiteit en seksuele gedrag in ag te neem. Gegewe dat sosio-politiese en sosioekonomiese omstandighede 'n impak het op seksuele gesondheidsrisikos, word navorsers genoodsaak om hul fokus te rig op hoë-risiko, lae sosio-ekonomiese gemeenskappe. Adolessente word geïdentifiseer as primêre teikengroep vir bewustheids- en voorkomingsprogramme aangaande seksualiteit. Navorsing toon die belangrikheid aan van insig in adolessente seksualiteit, ten einde seksuele gesondheidsrisiko's in dié teikengroep aan te spreek. Verder is daar ook 'n leemte in navorsing betreffende die rol van die manlike adolessent in seksuele en reproduktiewe gesondheid. Hierdie studie het die konstruksies van manlike adolessente seksualiteit in tradisioneel "kleurling", landelike gemeenskappe ondersoek. Die navorsing is eksploratief van aard, met primêre doelwit 'n bepaling van die omvang en frekwensie van seksuele gedrag waarin manlike adolessente in 'n spesifieke gemeenskap deelneem. 'n Sekondêre doelwit is om manlike adolessente se konstruksies van hul seksualiteit en seksuele gedrag in intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings te ondersoek. Data-insameling het 'n kombinasie van metodes behels. Vraelyste is deur 179 manlike adolessente tussen die ouderdom van 15 en 21, komende uit twee skole in die Stellenboschdistrik, ingevul. Die data is kwantitatief geanaliseer. Verder is sewe in-diepte onderhoude met manlike adolessente tussen die ouderdom van 16 en 18 gevoer. Data uit hierdie onderhoude is kwalitatief geanaliseer. Die analise van die data het aangedui dat manlike adolessente se vermoë om beheer te neem oor veilige seksuele praktyk, ondermyn word deur pogings om hul seksualiteit en seksuele gedrag te verskans. Manlike adolessente vanuit tradisioneel "kleurling", landelike gemeenskappe distansiëer hulself van en eksternaliseer hul seksuele gedrag en seksualiteit. Seksuele gedrag word betekenis gegee en verstaan as gedrag wat deur eksterne faktore en die vrees vir negatiewe evaluering deur ouers en die portuurgroep, beheer word. Hierdie konstruksie van seksualiteit verhoed dat manlike adolessente hul seksualiteit in 'n konteks van selfbeheer en selfbesit kan betekenis gee. Sulke konstruksies dra daartoe by om veilige seksuele gedragsriglyne te ondermyn.

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