Young People's Lives and Sexual Relationships in Rural Africa

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

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This book draws on an extraordinarily large and representative qualitative study to examine the variety of young people's sexual relationships and practices in a region typical of rural Africa. It describes how contradictory social ideals and expectations led to concealment of premarital and extramarital relationships. It then examines how this secrecy, combined with poor understanding of HIV/AIDS and the common practice of material exchange for sex, contributed to short relationships, fast partner change, concurrent partnerships, and related sexual health more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 30mm | 559.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0739186299
  • 9780739186299

Review quote

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. CHOICE 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. -- Janet Seeley, University of East Anglia 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. Population Studies: A Journal of Demography 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. Studies in Family Planningshow more

About Mary Louisa Plummer

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, more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Research Methods Chapter 3: Village Life Chapter 4: Children's Relationships with Parents, Peers and Teachers Chapter 5: Contradictory Sexual Norms and Expectations Case Study Series 1: "We'll Have Sex Again When the Opportunity Arises": Typical Young People's Lives and Premarital Sexual Relationships Chapter 6: Unmarried Young People's Sexual Relationships Chapter 7: Sexual Negotiation, Exchange, and Coercion Chapter 8: Sexual Practices Case Study Series 2: "He told me, 'Just come and live at my home'": Typical Young People's Experience of Marriage and Divorce Chapter 9: Married Young People's Sexual Relationships Chapter 10: Contraception, Abortion, and Fertility Chapter 11: HIV/AIDS and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections Case Study Series 3: "The Fever Went Away But Always Returned": HIV-Positive Young People's Lives and Sexual Relationships Chapter 12: Barriers and Facilitators of Sexual Risk Reductionshow more