Being and feeling like a woman: respectability, responsibility, desirability and safe sex among women of Afro-Surinamese and Dutch Antillean descent in the Netherlands.

School of Anthropology, Oxford University, UK.
Culture Health & Sexuality (Impact Factor: 1.55). 08/2008; 10(6):547-61. DOI: 10.1080/13691050802003014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to describe and understand gender roles and the relational context of sexual decision-making and safe sex negotiation among Afro-Surinamese and Dutch Antillean women in the Netherlands. Twenty-eight individual in-depth interviews and eight focus group discussions were conducted. In negotiating safe sex with a partner, women reported encountering ambiguity between being respectable and being responsible. Their independence, autonomy, authority and pride inherent to the matrifocal household give them ample opportunity to negotiate safe sex and power to stand firm in executing their decisions. The need to be respectable burdens negotiation practices, because as respectable, virtuous women there would not be the need to use condoms. Respectable women will only participate in serious monogamous relationships, which are inherently safe. Women's desire to feel like a woman, 'to tame the macho-man' and constrain him into a steady relationship, limits negotiation space because of emotional dependency. Respectability seems to enforce not questioning men's sexual infidelity. In developing STI/HIV prevention programmes this ambiguity due to cultural values related to gender roles should be considered. Raising awareness of power differences and conflicting roles and values may support women in safe-sex decision-making.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study explored, from a public health perspective, factors that contribute to inconsistent condom use by men in Curaçao through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 21 heterosexual men. The findings show that there is an important disconnect between what is considered culturally appropriate sexual behaviour for men and women and condom use, that diverging from prescribed notions of masculinity and femininity in order to use condoms consistently is difficult, and that condom use is particularly problematic in the context of concurrent partnerships and sexual economic exchanges. Participants further reported that Caribbean family structures, whereby mothers assume the role as primary caregiver and fathers contribute biologically but, to a much lesser extent socially, also have an impact on condom use. Additionally, consistent condom use was reported to be impeded by a cultural taboo on talking seriously about sex and sexual health. In their totality, findings provide important input from men for the development of sexual health promotion interventions that are cognizant of the cultural context in which inconsistent condom use occurs, and that are geared not only to the individual level but also to the interpersonal and structural levels.
    Culture Health & Sexuality 01/2013; · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated commitment, sexual risk taking behavior and condom use among heterosexual men. The sample was 120 American Indian men ages 18-24 on the Fort Peck Reservation. Measures included sexual risk taking behaviors, attitude towards the relationship, discordance in perception of attitudes toward the relationship, and condom use. Inconsistent condom users comprised 57 % of the sample. Men with more than one sexual partner as well as men who reported inconsistent condom use reported less favorable attitudes toward their relationship. Discordant attitudes were observed in men who reported that their partner was more committed to the relationship then they were. This influenced having multiple sex partners. Inconsistent condom use decreased as respondents perceived an increasing level of partner's attachment to the relationship in comparison to themselves. Further examination of intimate partner relationship characteristics and how these dynamics influence sexual and reproductive health among American Indians is needed.
    Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health. 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drawing on the recent work of Teitelman et al, this article explores the notion of gender-based power imbalances in the production of HIV risk. It focuses on the need to extend an understanding of gender-based power beyond the interpersonal realm and as a broader social problem, defined collectively within public arenas. The public arenas model is used to explore how gender-based power is currently defined and how its definitions can be expanded. We consider how HIV prevention policy solutions need to extend beyond interpersonal definitions to incorporate conceptions of gender-based power that include how broader social inequalities and power imbalances influence condom negotiations.
    ANS. Advances in nursing science 01/2013; 36(1):42-50. · 0.82 Impact Factor