Young People's Lives and Sexual Relationships in Rural Africa: Findings from a Large Qualitative Study in Tanzania by Mary Louisa Plummer, Daniel Wight |, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Young People's Lives and Sexual Relationships in Rural Africa: Findings from a Large Qualitative Study in Tanzania

Young People's Lives and Sexual Relationships in Rural Africa: Findings from a Large Qualitative Study in Tanzania

by Mary Louisa Plummer, Daniel Wight
     
 

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This book examines young African's sexual relationships in the context of village life. It is based on a large in-depth qualitative study in Tanzania, in a region typical of rural sub-Saharan Africa. It describes how dominant community values both discouraged and encouraged adolescent sexual activity. Young people managed these contradictions by concealing their

Overview

This book examines young African's sexual relationships in the context of village life. It is based on a large in-depth qualitative study in Tanzania, in a region typical of rural sub-Saharan Africa. It describes how dominant community values both discouraged and encouraged adolescent sexual activity. Young people managed these contradictions by concealing their sexual activity, contributing to short-term and/or overlapping relationships. Most adolescents had sex by age 15, but girls were often 5-10 years younger than their partners, and their relationships typically involved more frequent sexual encounters than those of same-aged boys. Motivations to have sex are examined, particularly its importance to masculine identity and its role in meeting young women's basic material needs, such as soap or respectable clothing. By their late teens most young people had experienced three types of sexual relationship: one-time sexual encounters; open-ended relationships involving occasional encounters; and 'main' semi-public partnerships involving frequent sexual contact. Relationships could involve desire, possessiveness, and affection, but romantic idealization of a partner was rare. Many young people expected their partners to be monogamous, but themselves had had concurrent relationships by age 20. Women generally married by age 20 and men by 25, with couples often having met about one month earlier. Marital couples usually spent little time together, and emotional intimacy was not highly valued. About one-third of marriages involved one husband and multiple wives. Extramarital sex, separation and divorce were fairly common. This book details factors shaping young people's sexual health, including access to, and beliefs about, condoms and other contraception. Condoms were rarely used because they were associated with reduced pleasure, infection and promiscuity. Sexually transmitted infections were fairly common, but several factors hindered young people from seeking biomedical treatment for them. Many instead relied on traditional medicine, as they did for contraception, induced abortion, and fertility promotion. Understanding of the biology of HIV/AIDS was very limited, and people with AIDS were sometimes believed to be bewitched with a non-infectious, curable illness. The book concludes by identifying key economic and cultural barriers to reducing sexual risk behavior, as well as factors that potentially facilitate risk reduction.

Editorial Reviews

Population Studies: A Journal of Demography
The book offers a rich description of the lives of young people in a high-HIV setting in rural Africa. It offers a glimpse into the lived experience of people in that setting, which should be of value to researchers trying to make sense of complex processes, as well as to policymakers when assessing the effectiveness of particular policies. They need all the help they can obtain: 30 years into the epidemic, we continue to fall short both in our research and in our policy initiatives in effectively combating the epidemic.
CHOICE
This study conducted during 1999-2002 is concentrated on the young people in rural Mwanza Region, northern Tanzania, on the southern shore of Lake Victoria. The area is occupied mostly by Sukuma and smaller ethnic groups, all of whom speak Swahili. Only 7 percent of Tanzania's school-age population was enrolled in secondary education... The vast majority of young women was sexually active and in relations—fleeting as they may have been—with men who supplied gifts or direct payment for sex. Only 12 percent of 15-19-year-old women reported ever having used contraceptive methods, mostly condoms. Plummer and Wight (both, UK Medical Research Council) suggest that (illegal) abortion was practiced widely. Counseling and behavior modification were most active in the realm of sexually transmitted infections. Many villagers in this study believed "real" AIDS was sexually transmitted, but also believed that a separate AIDS-mimicking illness was caused by witchcraft. Restrictive norms, rather than the threat of HIV infection, constrained sexual activity. The inclusion of detailed case studies makes this study personal and supplies depth. There is a Swahili and Sukuma glossary. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals.
Janet Seeley
This excellent volume offers a remarkably thorough analysis of young people's lives and sexual relationships in Tanzania. The detailed qualitative analysis the authors provide shows the value of good ethnographic fieldwork for research in this sensitive and private sphere. This important book deserves to be widely read particularly by all those concerned about the well-being of young people.
Population Studies
The book offers a rich description of the lives of young people in a high-HIV setting in rural Africa. It offers a glimpse into the lived experience of people in that setting, which should be of value to researchers trying to make sense of complex processes, as well as to policymakers when assessing the effectiveness of particular policies. They need all the help they can obtain: 30 years into the epidemic, we continue to fall short both in our research and in our policy initiatives in effectively combating the epidemic.
Studies in Family Planning
Young People’s Lives and Sexual Relationships in Rural Africa: Findings from a Large Qualitative Study in Tanzania is well organized, well written, and draws upon a unique dataset from rural Africa. The authors accomplish what they set out to achieve: the text provides a rich and detailed account of the sexual lives of young people in Tanzania, discusses the implications of the behaviors for HIV-prevention programs, and thoughtfully and comprehensively explores the challenges and strengths of conducting this type of qualitative data collection in rural African communities.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739135808
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
08/16/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Mary Plummer is a consultant to the UK Medical Research Council's Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. She lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Daniel Wight leads the Sexual Health and Families Program at the UK Medical Research Council's Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, Scotland.

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