Motivations, consequences and knowledge of skin bleaching: a study of perceptions of students of the University KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Keakile, Keitumetse Mmami.
MetadataShow full item record
The study examined University of KwaZulu-Natal students‟ perceptions, motivations, consequences, and knowledge of skin bleaching. The aim was to explore factors that the students propose are responsible for people‟s indulgence in skin bleaching, explore consequences of this practice, and determine the extent of the students‟ knowledge of these consequences. This study employed a mixed methods approach. One-hundred-and-forty students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, responded to an adapted questionnaire, whilst seven students took part in a focus group discussion. Quantitative data was then captured in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented in frequency tables. Moreover, the focus group interview data was analysed by means of thematic analysis. The findings show that participants propose that people indulge in the practice of skin bleaching mostly to look trendy and fashionable, to remove skin pimples and blemishes so that they can obtain a smooth skin and to be popular amongst peers respectively. In addition, the study revealed that some of the negative consequences associated with the skin bleaching practice include the fact that it is hazardous to the skin, expensive and time consuming. It was also found that among the positive consequences associated with the skin bleaching practice were that it improves one‟s beauty, ameliorates against certain medical conditions and provides opportunity for anticipated gains. The study furthermore revealed that, in toto, the students are fully aware of the harmful effects of the practice. Implications of these findings for improved clinical practice and further research were then briefly drawn.