Exploring Sexual Behaviour of Women in Zambia: A Qualitative Study

Type Journal Article - British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science
Title Exploring Sexual Behaviour of Women in Zambia: A Qualitative Study
Volume 12
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Catherine_Mubita-Ngoma/publication/283495918_Exploring_Sexual_B​ehaviour_of_Women_in_Zambia_A_Qualitative_Study/links/563c3cc608ae45b5d286b293.pdf
Aim: The aim of the study was to explore sexual behaviour among women aged 15 -25 years.
Study Design: Qualitative study.
Place and Duration of the Study: Nangoma mission hospital catchment area in Central province,
and Chikankata Hospital catchment area in Chikankata district of Southern Province.
Methodology: We conducted 8 focus group discussions with 72 participants. The discussions
were conducted using the same topic guide for all the groups, transcribed and subjected to
framework analysis.
Results: The study findings indicate that many young women were sexually active and initiated
sexual activity at an early age. Factors that contributed to early initiation of sexual activities include
fear of rejection by stable partners, betrothals, coercion into marriages by guardians, incest, lack of
negotiation skills with sexual partners and poverty. Many participants’ sexual partners at first
intercourse were more than five years older than themselves. Some of the study participants had
multiple sexual partners due to various factors such as curiosity, fear of partner violence, lack of
assertiveness, sign of beauty and poverty.
Many participants in both groups engaged in unprotected sex due to various reasons. Some had
never seen a condom before, some trusted their sexual partners and thought there was no need to
use a condom, others stated their partners didn’t’ allow them to use a condom. Other participants
didn’t use a condom because it wasn’t available, others couldn’t use it due to misconceptions such
as lack of sexual enjoyment. In some situations, participants couldn’t use a condom because of the
environment in which they found themselves, those with casual sexual partners stated that sexual
intercourse is usually performed in the bush and in hurry for fear of being discovered by passersby.
Some participants couldn’t use the condom on account of their doctrine. A few participants used
the condom for pregnancy protection.
The study revealed that most participants would not initiate condom use with their sexual partners
for fear of rejection, abandonment, infidelity and being suspected of having HIV and AIDS however,
some participants were willing to initiate condom use with their sexual partners for pregnancy
protection. Many participants in didn’t discuss sexual matters nor HIV and AIDS, and sexually
transmitted infections with their sexual partners. A few participants discussed issues on pregnancy
protection with their husbands.
Conclusion: The study shows that women engage in risk sexual behaviour. Continued
sensitization is required in order to prevent women from engaging in risky sexual behaviour.

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