'People make assumptions about our communities': sexual health amongst teenagers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in East london.
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.
- SourceAvailable from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To examine differences in population based rates of gonorrhoea and chlamydia between black ethnic groups in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority. Episodes of gonorrhoea or chlamydia recorded among attenders at 11 genitourinary clinics in south and central London from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1995 were retrieved. Complete data on chlamydia were only available for women. Ethnic group was assigned according to census categories--white, black Caribbean, black African, black other, Asian, or other. We calculated yearly incidence rates for episodes of gonorrhoea and chlamydia in residents of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority. Random effects Poisson regression models were used to examine associations between infection rates and age, ethnic group, and material deprivation. During the study period there were 1996 episodes of gonorrhoea in men and women and 1376 episodes of chlamydia in women with complete data. For both infections rates among individuals from black Caribbean and black other ethnic groups were markedly higher than among black Africans. In men, the gonorrhoea rate among black Caribbean 20-24 year olds was 2348 (95% CI 1965 to 2831) episodes per 100,000 compared with 931 (95% CI 690 to 1288) in black African men and 111 (95% CI 100 to 124) per 100,000 in white men of the same age. Among women gonorrhoea rates were highest in black Caribbean 15-19 year olds (2612, 95% CI 2161 to 3190 per 100,000). In contrast, rates in black African women of the same age (331, 95% CI 154 to 846 per 100,000) were similar to those of white women (222, 95% CI 163 to 312). Chlamydia rates were also highest in black Caribbean 15-19 year old women (4579, 95% CI 3966 to 5314 per 100,000), compared with 1286 (95% CI 907 to 1888) in black African and 433 (95% CI 349 to 544) per 100,000 white women. Controlling for material deprivation and age only attenuated differences in rates between ethnic groups slightly. There are marked differences in rates of gonorrhoea and chlamydia between different black ethnic groups, with higher rates in black Caribbeans than black Africans. This study supports the hypothesis that assortative sexual mixing patterns can restrict epidemics of sexually transmitted infections within ethnic groups. Differences in disease occurrence between black ethnic groups should be explored before combining data, even when numbers of episodes are small.Sexually Transmitted Infections 03/2001; 77(1):15-20. · 2.61 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study determines what young adolescents themselves identify as the potential positive and negative outcomes of having sex, using a condom and not using a condom. Using written surveys, 418 ethnically diverse ninth graders, 86% of whom had never had sex, responded to a scenario describing two adolescents who had sex. One randomly selected group read a scenario in which a condom was used; the other group read a scenario in which no condom was used. All participants were asked to list the risks and benefits of having sex. Depending on the scenario read, participants were asked to list the risks and benefits of either using or not using a condom. Responses were coded thematically. Percentages of responses were compared with chi-square analysis in total and by gender. Participants spontaneously identified a broad range of health and psychosocial risks and benefits of having sex, using a condom and not using a condom. A strong aversion to pregnancy was evident, and the risks of sexually transmitted disease/human immunodeficiency virus (STD/HIV) and condom malfunction were commonly mentioned. Benefits of using a condom included pregnancy and STD prevention. Benefits of both having sex and of not using a condom included improving the relationship, fun, and pleasure. Gender differences emerged across questions. Communication with adolescents regarding safe sexual activity could benefit from widening the communication from a focus on health risks to include discussion of the psychosocial risks and benefits that adolescents themselves think about with respect to sex and condom use.Journal of Adolescent Health 11/2006; 39(4):588-95. · 2.97 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Commentators have criticised the terminology used for the classification of ethnic and racialised groups in health research for a number of years. The shortcomings of fixed-response categories include the reproduction of racialised categorisations, overemphasis of homogeneity within groups and contrast between them, and failure to offer terms with which people identify and which can express complex identities. The historical injustices against black and minority groups are reflected in terminology and explicitly recognised when discussing 'race' as a social construction. The exaggeration of homogeneity within groups and contrast between them is a racialising effect of fixed classifications. Self-assigned ethnic group avoids some of these difficulties by allowing multiple affiliations to be described, but introduces the costs of processing free text. The context-dependent nature of individual ethnic identity makes comparison problematic. Researcher-assigned ethnicity can increase comparability and consistency but may be at odds with self-identity. The complexity of ethnicity itself and of its relationship with socio-economic group and racism makes proxy measures inevitably inadequate. If researchers continue to try to capture the complex and contextual detail of ethnicity, it may become clear that the general concept of ethnicity covers such a wide and specific range of experiences as to render it of limited use in making comparisons through time or across cultures.Ethnicity and Health 03/2003; 8(1):5-13. · 1.20 Impact Factor