Young black women's constructions of sexuality in the context of HIV and AIDS in a township school in Durban.
This study investigates the manner in which six young black women aged 16-17, in a Durban township, construct their sexual identities within the context of HIV and AIDS. The aim of this study was to discover what young black women regard as risky sexual behaviour, and the way in which they negotiate their sexuality; how they construct their sexuality in the context of HIV and AIDS, and the manner in which their understanding of sexuality influences their behaviour. The study utilised the feminist theory and social constructionism, as theoretical frameworks. These frameworks were used in analysing the data that was produced. The theories were referred to in comprehending the way in which young black women view their world in terms of sexuality and high-risk behaviour. Two interviewing techniques for generating data were also utilised, namely; focus groups and individual interviews. The findings of the study indicate that young women’s engagement in risky sexual behaviour is influenced by various factors, including culture, sexual beliefs and their inability to negotiate safe sex practices with their partners. Findings also reveal that transactional sex, peer pressure, multiple sexual partners, and alcohol abuse, form part of the risky sexual behaviour engaged in by young women. These primary findings were used to provide recommendations in an effort to reduce HIV and AIDS in schools; and to increase safer sex practices amongst South African youth at large.
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