|dc.description.abstract||Within sub-Sahara Africa, adolescent girls bear a disproportionate burden of sexual and reproductive
health (SRH) risks, where the dual risk of HIV infection and adolescent fertility is faced. Specifically in
South Africa, it is estimated that nearly 2 000 adolescent girls and young women between the ages of
15 and 24 years are infected by HIV every week. Furthermore, it was estimated that, by 2016, 15,6% of
females between the ages of 15 and 19 years old in South Africa had begun childbearing. It is for these
reasons that adolescent girls have been identified as a key population.
This study was located at Mayville Secondary School, in the eThekwini district of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
This area reports high levels of HIV infection, with notably high adolescent fertility rates at this school.
This study had three aims: to understand the influences on adolescent female sexuality, to outline the
perceptions of SRH self-care among adolescent females, and to understand the perceptions of artbased
methodologies in researching sensitive topics. By understanding adolescent sexuality, this study
aimed to highlight the influence this had on the self-care capabilities of adolescent females in
maintaining their SRH. A culture-centred understanding of Orem’s self-care model guided the study. A
participatory action research design was adopted, where data collection was threefold: a bodymapping
workshop, group discussion and individual interviews.
Key findings highlighted parental relationships and SRH-specific health communication programmes as
the most influential in the understanding of sexuality among adolescent females. However, lack of
agency in preventing risk, such as rape, and the negative perceptions of health care workers were
identified as the main self-care deficits among adolescent females. Furthermore, this study identifies
the effectiveness of art-based methodologies in researching and communicating with adolescent
females about sexuality. This study highlighted the need for greater understanding of the socio-cultural
perceptions of health care workers’ understanding of adolescent sexuality, and the provision of SRH
services. This study emphasises the need to reduce significant socio-cultural barriers to SRH, in order
to ensure adolescent females have the ability to be effective self-care agents in maintaining good SRH.||en_US