Browsing by Author "Mash, Rachel"
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- ItemChurch teaching and the views of youth on sexual practices : a study amongst Anglican youth of the Cape Town diocese aged 12-19(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2006-12) Mash, Rachel; Louw, J.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research aims to establish if church-going young people adhere to the principle of ‘no sex before marriage’, or if there are competing ‘voices’ and pressures that young people succumb to. Are they practising risky sexual behaviour, with multiple partners, using no protection or experiencing sexual violence? We conducted a survey in order to understand the gravity of the challenge, and to identify ways in which the Anglican Church might become more effective in dealing with issues of sexuality among young people. The field research was undertaken between October 2004 and January 2005 and involved a detailed questionnaire survey (with 1,306 responses analysed), and three different focus group discussions. Respondents were between 12 and 19 years of age, both male and female, and demographically representative of the Anglican Church of Cape Town Diocese. It is hoped that the results of this survey will be informative for church leaders and those involved in ministry with young people. Our research reveals that church-going young people are not excluded from the risks faced by others in society. Of the respondents 30.5% have had sex (40% Male and 21% Female; Black 44%, White 26% and Coloured 30%). This is irrespective of geographical location (32% Rural and 30% Urban). Young people are practising vaginal, oral and anal sex or any combination. During their first sexual experience, only 35% used contraceptives. Ninety percent of their first partners are friends or schoolmates and when it came to venue, 75% had sex at home or at their partner’s place. Casual sex was common and 33% of those who have had sex have been with four or more sexual partners. Sexual violence also occurred as 6% of the respondents were forced to have sex (Black 7.1%, White 6.5% and Coloured 5.4%). Of this coerced group, 12% have themselves demanded sex from somebody else. There is thus a gap between the Church’s traditional teaching of ‘no sex before marriage’ and the realities of the way in which our young people live. Hence, we should no longer hide our heads in the sand and pretend that our young people are not at risk. This research has certainly identified several areas of concern. Nonetheless, it has also revealed encouraging information, as young people are interested in changing the situation. In order to increase its effectiveness in addressing the sexuality of young people, the Anglican Church should be prepared to act decisively. The approach recommended from this study should be multifaceted, given the increasingly complex landscape in which young people live. There is an urgent need to support young people in building healthy relationships. Parental workshops are an important intervention in order to enable parents to communicate with their children about sexuality, using an ageappropriate approach. Peer education should be adopted: that is training key opinion leaders in each church so that they can provide positive peer pressure. In addition, the church should take a stand against sexual messages seen in the media; silence implies consent. The church must clearly communicate its opposition to these unhealthy sexual messages to society at large.
- ItemFaith-based organisations and HIV prevention in Africa : a review(AOSIS Publishing, 2013-05) Mash, Rachel; Mash, RobertBackground: Faith-based organisations (FBOs) are potentially an important role-player in HIV prevention, but there has been little systematic study of their potential strengths and weaknesses in this area. Objectives: To identify the strengths and weaknesses of FBOs in terms of HIV prevention. The questions posed were, (1) ‘What is the influence of religion on sexual behaviour in Africa?’, and (2) ‘What are the factors that enable religion to have an influence on sexual behaviour?’. Method: A literature search of Medline, SABINET, Africa Wide NIPAD and Google Scholar was conducted. Results: The potential for Faith-based organisations to be important role-players in HIV prevention is undermined by the church’s difficulties with discussing sexuality, avoiding stigma, gender issues and acceptance of condoms. It appears that, in contrast with high-income countries, religiosity does not have an overall positive impact on risky sexual behaviour in Africa. Churches may, however, have a positive impact on alcohol use and its associated risky behaviour, as well as self-efficacy. The influence of the church on sexual behaviour may also be associated with the degree of social engagement and control within the church culture. Conclusion: Faith-based organisations have the potential to be an important role player in terms of HIV prevention. However, in order to be more effective, the church needs to take up the challenge of empowering young women, recognising the need for their sexually-active youth to use protection, reducing judgemental attitudes and changing the didactical methods used.
- ItemHealth and fracking : should the medical profession be concerned?(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-05) Mash, Rachel; Minnaar, Jolynn; Mash, BobThe use of natural gas that is obtained from high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) may reduce carbon emissions relative to the use of coal and have substantial economic benefits for South Africa. However, concerns have been raised regarding the health and environmental impacts. The drilling and fracking processes use hundreds of chemicals as well as silica sand. Additional elements are either released from or formed in the shale during drilling. These substances can enter the environment in various ways: through failures in the well casing; via alternative underground pathways; as wastewater, spills and leaks on the wellpad; through transportation accidents; and as air pollution. Although many of these chemicals and elements have known adverse health effects, there is little evidence available on the health impacts of fracking. These health concerns have not yet been fully addressed in policy making, and the authors recommend that the voice of health professionals should be part of the public debate on fracking and that a full health impact assessment be required before companies are given the go-ahead to drill.
- ItemA quasi-experimental evaluation of an HIV prevention programme by peer education in the Anglican Church of the Western Cape, South Africa(BMJ publishing group, 2012-02) Mash, Rachel; Mash, Robert JamesIntroduction: Religion is important in most African communities, but faith-based HIV prevention programmes are infrequent and very rarely evaluated. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a church-based peer education HIV prevention programme that focused on youth. Design: A quasi-experimental study design compared non-randomly chosen intervention and control groups. Setting: This study was conducted in the Cape Town Diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Participants: The intervention group of 176 teenagers was selected from youth groups at 14 churches and the control group of 92 from youth groups at 17 churches. Intervention and control churches were chosen to be as similar as possible to decrease confounding. Intervention: The intervention was a 20-session peer education programme (Fikelela: Agents of Change) aimed at changing risky sexual behaviour among youth (aged 12e19 years). Three workshops were also held with parents. Primary and secondary outcome measures: The main outcome measures were changes in age of sexual debut, secondary abstinence, condom use and numbers of partners. Results: The programme was successful at increasing condom usage (condom use score 3.5 vs 2.1; p¼0.02), OR 6.7 (95% CI 1.1 to 40.7), and postponing sexual debut (11.9% vs 21.4%; p¼0.04) absolute difference 9.5%. There was no difference in secondary abstinence (14.6% vs 12.5%; p¼0.25) or with the number of partners (mean 1.7 vs 1.4; p¼0.67) and OR 2.2 (95% CI 0.7 to 7.4). Conclusion: An initial exploratory quasi-experimental evaluation of the Agents of Change peer education programme in a church-based context found that the age of sexual debut and condom usage was significantly increased. The study demonstrated the potential of faith-based peer education among youth to make a contribution to HIV prevention in Africa. Further evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme is, however, required before widespread implementation can be recommended.
- ItemSurvey of sexual behaviour among Anglican youth in the Western Cape(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2006) Mash, Rachel; Kareithi, Roselyn; Mash, Bob[No abstract available]
- Item'Why don't you just use a condom? ': understanding the motivational tensions in the minds of South African women(AOSIS Publishing, 2010) Mash, Rachel; Mash, Bob; De Villiers, PierreBackground: HIV/AIDS makes the largest contribution to the burden of disease in South Africa and consistent condom use is considered a key component of HIV-prevention efforts. Health workers see condoms as a straightforward technical solution to prevent transmission of the disease and are often frustrated when their simple advice is not followed. Objectives: To better understand the complexity of the decision that women must make when they are asked to negotiate condom use with their partner. Method: A literature review. Results: A key theme that emerged included unequal power in sexual decision making, with men dominating and women being disempowered. Women may want to please their partner, who might believe that condoms will reduce sexual pleasure. The use of condoms was associated with a perceived lack of ‘real’ love, intimacy and trust. Other factors included the fear of losing one’s reputation, being seen as ‘loose’ and of violence or rejection by one’s partner. For many women, condom usage was forbidden by their religious beliefs. The article presents a conceptual framework to make sense of the motivational dilemma in the mind of a woman who is asked to use a condom. Conclusion: Understanding this ambivalence, respecting it and helping women to resolve it may be more helpful than simply telling women to use a condom. A prevention worker who fails to recognise this dilemma and instructs women to ‘simply’ use a condom, may well encounter resistance.