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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

TSAKANI, Lebese R.; DAVHANA-MASELESELE, Mashudu  and  OBI, Larry C.. Teenagers' experiences of sexual health dialogue in the rural villages of the Vhembe District, Limpopo Province. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp. 1-10. ISSN 1025-9848.

Dialogue with teenagers about sexual health is of global concern, as it is found mostly to be minimal, if not absent. This limitation is influenced by the cultural values, beliefs and norms of teenagers. To a great extent, culture influences which and how sexual health issues can be discussed between teenagers and adults. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe teenagers' experiences of sexual health dialogue in the rural areas of the Vhembe district in Limpopo province, South Africa. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual research approach was used. Data were collected by means of in-depth, individual interviews and focus-group discussions. A purposive sampling method was used to select the 57 participating teenagers, based on criteria that were set. The findings of the study indicated that there was minimal dialogue between adults and teenagers about sexual health. Most teenagers reported that they learned about issues related to sexual health from friends, the media, initiation schools and relatives who, most often, were aunts. It was also noted with concern that the teenagers always equated sexual health to the act of intercourse and that no attention was paid to other aspects of sexual health. Recommendations to improve the current situation were made.

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