'People make assumptions about our communities': sexual health amongst teenagers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in East london.

Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, London South Bank University, London, UK.
Ethnicity and Health (Impact Factor: 1.2). 12/2007; 12(5):423-41. DOI: 10.1080/13557850701616839
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT (1) To explore sexual behaviour and relationships amongst Black and minority ethnic (BME) teenagers in East London. (2) To examine how these relationships are shaped by culture, gender, peer norms and religion. (3) To describe the implications for sexual health policy and practice in urban, multicultural areas.
This report draws primarily on the qualitative arm of a mixed methods study which collected data from 126 young people, aged 15-18, largely through focus groups in the London boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets.
Previous research has reported culture influencing the patterning of risk/protection amongst BME groups. Our data suggest that this is mediated by gender, religion and youth. Religion reportedly influenced young women's sexual behaviour in multiple ways. Young people described gendered norms in meeting and flirting with partners, and the role of mobile phones and peer pressure.
Our paper suggests culture, gender, religion and youth influence BME teenagers in aspects of sexual relationships, and that these social markers may have different contextual meanings for individuals. The multiplicity of factors affecting attitudes/behaviour requires a range of contraceptive, counselling, screening and sex education services available for all teenagers, although delivery patterns may differ in response to differing needs.

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