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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Between tradition and modernity: girls’ talk about sexual relationships and violence in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique

    This paper interrogates the influence of a tradition-modernity dichotomy on perspectives and practices on sexual violence and sexual relationships involving girls in three districts of Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Through deploying an analytical framework of positioning within multiple discursive sites, the authors argue that although the dichotomy misrepresents the complexity of contemporary communities, it is nonetheless deployed by girls, educational initiatives and researchers in their reflections on girls’ sexual practices and sexual violence. …

  2. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  3. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  4. The influence of early sexual debut and sexual violence on adolescent pregnancy: a matched case-control study in Jamaica

    CONTEXT: Contraceptive knowledge and use at first sex have increased over time among Jamaican adolescents, yet high unintended pregnancy rates persist. More information on risk factors for adolescent pregnancy is needed to inform programs. METHODS: Structured interviews were conducted with 15–17-year-old females—250 who were currently pregnant and 500 sexually experienced, but never-pregnant, neighborhood-matched controls. …

  5. Risk for coerced sex among female youth in Ghana: Roles of family context, school enrollment and relationship experience

    CONTEXT: A better understanding is needed of the variables that may influence the risk of experiencing coerced sex among adolescent females in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were collected from 700 female respondents who were interviewed in 2010 and 2012 waves of a longitudinal study of behavioral risk for HIV infection among youth aged 13–14 or 18–19 and living in two towns in southeastern Ghana. …

  6. Gender violence in schools in the developing world

    This paper explores gender violence in schools in what is commonly known as the ‘developing world’ through a review of recent research written in English. Violence in the school setting has only recently emerged as a widespread and serious phenomenon in these countries, with the consequence that our knowledge and understanding of it is embryonic; much of it remains invisible or unrecognized. …

  7. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  8. Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

    Background: Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the HIV pandemic to a greater extent than young people elsewhere and effective HIV-preventive intervention programmes are urgently needed. The present article presents the rationale behind an EU-funded research project (PREPARE) examining effects of community-based (school delivered) interventions conducted in four sites in sub-Saharan Africa. One intervention focuses on changing beliefs and cognitions related to sexual practices (Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa). …

  9. If I buy the Kellogg’s then he should [buy] the milk: young women’s perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Ideals of masculinity and femininity may limit South African women's decision making power in relationships and increase their risk of HIV infection. The authors conducted 30 in-depth interviews with 18-24-year-old women in inner-city Johannesburg with the aim of understanding young women's expectations of intimate relationships with men, their perceptions of gender and power and how this influences HIV risk. …

  10. Empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: lessons learned from a Safe Schools Summit

    The bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in schools is a significant problem in the United States. This study examined responses of youth participants at a statewide Safe Schools Summit to a survey of their experiences with school-based violence, harassment, and discrimination, and of the effects of their attendance at the Summit. Quantitative analyses found that 92% of respondents felt "more empowered" following participation in the Summit. …

  11. Sexual orientation and gender identity and the protection of forced migrants

    Around the world, people face abuse, arbitrary arrest, extortion, violence, severe discrimination and lack of official protection because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This latest issue of FMR includes 26 articles on the abuse of rights of forced migrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Authors discuss both the challenges faced and examples of good practice in securing protection for LGBTI forced migrants.

  12. Sexual coercion among in-school adolescents in Rwanda: prevalence and correlates of victimization and normative acceptance

    Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual coercion, as victim as well as perpetrator. This paper aims to adapt sexual and reproductive health interventions to the reality of young people’s sexuality and relationships. This study assesses the prevalence of forced sex, characteristics of victims and norms regarding sexual coercion among Rwandan adolescents. A survey was completed by 285 senior secondary school students and four focus groups were conducted. Of sexually active respondents, 15.5% reported forced sexual intercourse. …

  13. School reform efforts for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students

    Recent efforts of school personnel across the country to implement a variety of initiatives aimed at providing safe and tolerant learning environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students have resulted in inclusion of homosexual identities in school curricula, identification of positive role models, counseling programs, and support groups. However, antigay attitudes and actions of students and teachers continue to persist. …

  14. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  15. Individual and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse and the association with the circumstances of first sex among youth from six sub-Saharan African countries

    Youth who engage in early and premarital sex are at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Most prevention programs ignore the mediating influence of the threat and experience of violence on these outcomes. Using nationally representative data from Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the autors used multivariate analyses to examine the association between individual- and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse on the age and circumstances of sexual debut among female youth. The youth sample sizes ranged from a high of 5007 in Malawi to a low of 3050 in Lesotho. …

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