Sexual cultures amongst young Indians in Chatsworth.
In South Africa, HIV and AIDS is a crisis particularly for young women between the ages of 15-24. HIV and AIDS is gendered disease and its spread is heterosexual. The effects of the disease have led to an increasing examination of what sexual and gendered identities mean for young people. Using individual and focus-group interviews, this study explores young people’s sexual cultures amidst the backdrop of HIV and AIDS. It focuses on the ways in which young Indian men and women (aged 16-17) in a low to middle income context in Chatsworth, Durban, construct heterosexual relationships. The study explores how this selected group of learners navigate themselves as sexual subjects in the context of sexual passions and sexual risk. The study focuses on relationship cultures, sexual risk and the ways in which gender is constructed in heterosexual relationships. Currently we know very little of young people’s heterosexual relationships and in particular, we know very little of young Indian sexualities. In the context of sexual risk taking and broader concerns about sexual health, young people’s perceptions about sex and sexuality are important. Insight into how the youth understand gender and sexuality is necessary for addressing educational strategies in sexuality education, Life Orientation and HIV/AIDS education in South Africa.