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Journal for the Study of Religion

On-line version ISSN 2413-3027
Print version ISSN 1011-7601


BANGIRANA, Albert Billy; NADAR, Sarojini  and  REDDY, Sarasvathie. Sexual Surveillance and Student Sexual Agency: Catholic Moral Teaching and HIV Prevention in a Higher Education Context. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2017, vol.30, n.2, pp.105-121. ISSN 2413-3027.

Studies on HIV infection and prevalence at South African University Campuses reveal high levels of HIV infection and prevalence among students. Statistics reveal higher infection rates for female students. It is postulated that these statistics may be attributed to sustained high risk behaviour[s] at university campuses. However, these largely quantitative studies lack a qualitative analysis of the factors associated with high-risk behaviour. Within studies on HIV, there is a significant body of literature that makes linkages to religion, gender and sexuality. What appears to be missing is a focus on Higher education, in particular on how university students might experience HIV prevention models. In discussions on HIV prevention, religion is often seen as providing a moral compass for sexual behaviour. Using surveillance theory and Foucault's theory of power or forces in relation to sexuality, this article critiques the notion of a moral compass by interrogating the foundational teachings of the Catholic Church's HIV prevention model. The article suggests that Albert Bandura's 'self-reactive selfhood reasoning' provides a more adequate moral reasoning framework for students' sexual agency than the Church' s framework which is hegemonic and hierarchical.

Keywords : Surveillance; Catholic; Sexuality; Morality; HIV; Students; Agency.

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