Age-disparate and intergenerational sex in southern Africa: the dynamics of hypervulnerability
If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper reviews the current state of knowledge on age-disparate sexual relationships in the context of the southern African HIV/AIDS hyperepidemic. Disproportionately high HIV infection rates among young women aged 15-24 years have been attributed to their greater involvement in relationships with older-aged partners. Whereas early studies emphasized economic concerns in the context of poverty as driving girls to accept or seek the attentions of older employed men, close-grained studies reveal a complex interplay of meanings and motives that prompt both men and women across socioeconomic strata to engage in intergenerational sex. Studies have revealed that age-disparate relationships are meaningful and perceived as beneficial at a number of levels, including social, physical, psychological, as well as economic and symbolic. In the context of growing economic inequalities and cultural expectations for men to give and women to receive a compensation for sex, relationships with older men are a common and readily available way through which young women gain materially, affirm self-worth, achieve social goals, increase longer-term life chances, or otherwise add value and enjoyment to life. Awareness of HIV risks in these relationships remains low. HIV prevention policies and programmes need to start from an understanding of how those engaged in risky behaviour perceive their sexual relationships and conceptualize the choices they make and the strategies they use. A more comprehensive policy on women and girls with better integration of communities in assessing and addressing issues, and an expansion of campaigns and programmes on the role of men as protectors and supporters of women are recommended.
Related Research Outputs:
- Comparing STI risk and sexual behaviour profiles of pregnant versus non-pregnant, HIV negative black South African women
- A community-based study to examine the effect of a youth HIV prevention programme in South Africa
- Coital bleeding and HIV risks among men and women in Cape Town, South Africa
- Alcohol expectations and risky drinking among men and women at high-risk for HIV infection in Cape Town, South Africa
- Recent multiple sexual partners and HIV transmission risks among people living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana
- Rapid appraisal of substance abuse and HIV awareness messages in poster communication to disadvantaged youth in South Africa
- Youth voices about sex and AIDS: implications for life skills education through the 'Learning Together' project in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- Brief HIV risk reduction intervention for sexually transmitted infection clinic patients who use alcohol in Cape Town
- Building protective factors to offset sexually risky behaviors among black youths: a randomized control trial
- Intergenerational/age-disparate sex and young women's vulnerability in southern Africa
- Sensation seeking and alcohol use predict HIV transmission risks: prospective study of sexually transmitted infection clinic patients, Cape Town, South Africa
- Heterosexual anal sex activity in the year after an STD clinic visit
- Researching MSM in South Africa: some preliminary notes from the frontlines of a hidden epidemic
- South African national HIV prevalence, incidence, behaviour and communication survey, 2008: a turning tide among teenagers?
- Behaviour changes in sexual behavioural practices among South African youth
- 'Die mense sal dit nog aanvaar': perceptions of teenage pregnancy in South Africa
- Innovative mobilization strategies for attracting at risk youth and young adults to participate in community-based voluntary counselling and testing in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa (Project Accept - HPTN 043)
- Intimate partner violence and HIV risk among women in primary health care delivery services in a South African setting
- Condom failure among men receiving sexually transmissible infection clinic services, Cape Town, South Africa
- HIV and youth: a behavioural perspective