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J Hum Behav Soc Environ. 2012;22(8):1021-1032.

Sexual attitudes and behaviour of university students at a rural South African University: Results of a Pilot Survey.

Author information

1
Senior Research Associate, Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research Department of Psychiatry Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania 3535 Market Street, Suite 520 Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309.
2
The Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication; Annenberg School for Communication; Professor of Communication in Psychiatry, Director, Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research, Department of Psychiatry Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania 3535, Market Street, Suite 520, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309.
3
Department of Statistics and Biostatistics, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa.
4
Proefessor and Head of the Department of Statistics and Biostatistics, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa.

Abstract

A cross sectional qualitative and quantitative pilot survey, using self administered questionnaire and focus group discussions, was conducted to assess the need for, and feasibility of, a health promotion programme for university students at a South African University. We examined the gender and cultural effects on sexual attitudes and behaviour, as well as condom use. A total of 73 students, age's between 18 and 30 years, participated in the pilot survey. The results suggest that females compared to the males are more likely to abstain until they find a partner with whom they intend to settle. There was a strong belief that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy and STIs. Overall participants were not sure if condom use had any negative effects, although female respondents felt that condoms affect the pleasure of sexual intercourse. The results suggest that there is a clear need for health promotion programmes aimed at young adults, who attend university. The programme would need to aim at improving general health knowledge, targeting health promotion and sexual risk behaviour among university students. Such a programme would have to consider gender, socio-economic circumstances as well as national and cultural background of the target population.

KEYWORDS:

HIV/AIDS intervention; South Africa; abstinence; condom use; health promotion; risk behaviour; survey; university students

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