Population Council, 2008. 13 p.
Harrison, Abigail
Cleland, John
Frohlich, Janet
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Studies in Family Planning. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Special issue based on a seminar of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.
Studies in Family Planning
This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning" published in December 2008. It examines young people's sexual partnerships in rural KwazuluNatal, South Africa, focusing attention on key aspects of relationship dynamics, including number of partners, age asymmetries, and duration and frequency of contact, using both survey and qualitative data. Using household survey and qualitative data, the study foud that one-third of the men surveyed reported multiple and/or concurrent partnering, and one-fourth of the women had partners who were five years older than they were. Nonparticipation in civic orgnaizations or school was correlated with higher risks partnerships for women but not for men. On average, relationships lasted more than a year for the women and men surveyed, and were frequently charaterized as serious. Qualitative findings pointed to the sequential and overlapping nature of relationships, however, with distance and mobility being important influences. These fluid partnership patterns are important feature of people's sexual risk in the context of South Africa's severe HIV epidemic.
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