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Teenagers’ experiences of sexual health dialogue in the rural villages of the Vhembe District, Limpopo Province

DOI: 10.4102/hsag.v16i1.502

Keywords: dialogue , parents , sexual health , teenagers , teachers

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Abstract:

Dialogue with teenagers about sexual health is of global concern, as it is found mostly to be minimal, if not absent. This limitation is influenced by the cultural values, beliefs and norms of teenagers. To a great extent, culture influences which and how sexual health issues can be discussed between teenagers and adults. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe teenagers’ experiences of sexual health dialogue in the rural areas of the Vhembe district in Limpopo province, South Africa. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual research approach was used. Data were collected by means of in-depth, individual interviews and focus-group discussions. A purposive sampling method was used to select the 57 participating teenagers, based on criteria that were set. The findings of the study indicated that there was minimal dialogue between adults and teenagers about sexual health. Most teenagers reported that they learned about issues related to sexual health from friends, the media, initiation schools and relatives who, most often, were aunts. It was also noted with concern that the teenagers always equated sexual health to the act of intercourse and that no attention was paid to other aspects of sexual health. Recommendations to improve the current situation were made. Opsomming Dialoog met tienerjariges rakende seksuele gesondheid is ’n wêreldwye probleem omdat daar gevind is dat dit meestal minimaal is of glad nie plaasvind nie. Hierdie beperking word be nvloed deur die tienerjariges se kulturele waardes, oortuigings en norme. Kultuur be nvloed in ’n groot mate watter seksuele gesondheidsake tussen tienerjariges en volwassenes bespreek kan word, en hoe dit gedoen kan word. Die doel van hierdie studie was om tienerjariges se ondervindings van seksuele gesondheidsdialoog in die landelike gebiede van die Vhembedistrik in die Limpopo-provinsie van Suid-Afrika te ondersoek en te bespreek. ’n Kwalitatiewe,ondersoekende, beskrywende en kontekstuele navorsingsbenadering is gevolg.Data is versamel deur middel van grondige individuele onderhoude en fokusgroep-besprekings.’n Doelbewuste steekproefmetode is gebruik om die 57 deelnemende tienerjariges op grond van bepaalde kriteria te selekteer.Die bevindings van die studie het aangedui dat daar minimale dialoog oor seksuele gesondheid tussen tienerjariges en volwassenes is. Die meeste tienerjariges het gerapporteer dat hulle by vriende, die media, inisiasieskole en familielede, meestal ’n tante, van seksuele gesondheid geleer het. Daar is met kommer opgemerk dat tienerjariges seksuele gesondheid

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