Riskfyllda möten en studie om unga människors upplevelser av sexuellt överförbara infektioner och sexuellt risktagande
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of the present thesis is to contribute to the knowledge in young people´s experiences, thoughts and norms regarding sexually transmitted infections (STI) and sexual risk-taking. The specific aims are two-fold. The first aim is to explain and understand young Swedish men and women´s lived experience of an STI, in this case genital warts (I, II). The second is to explain and understand the values and attitudes of young men and women to sexual risk-taking (III) in relation to perceptions of gender (IV).The theoretical perspectives are a reflective lifeworld approach, hermeneutic and gender perspectives. The thesis is based on individual interviews (I, II) and focus groups (III, IV).The results show that a young person infected by an STI, will experience encounters at different levels. A person with an STI is forced to meet him/herself and their own prejudices. Loss of innocence is highly significant and symbolic for women, while other person´s attitudes are more important for men (I, II). Also, being a disease carrier is of great significance, which has an impact on their views of future meaningful relationships (II).Sexual risk-taking, such as it was expressed in the focus groups with young people, revealed a pattern that is described as a ‘game’. In that game, a dialogue might feel more intimate than intercourse. These teenagers often view their one night stand partners as objects, as opposed to love relationships where they are viewed as subjects, i.e. persons to be cared for. Engaging in sexual risk-taking often starts at a club where these teenagers pretend that they are spontaneous (III).This game is further illuminated in a secondary analysis with a gender perspective. There are frequent misunderstandings between young men and women that are based on gender constructions, which derive from lack of communication. Hence, they have to take part in a balancing act while shaping their sexual identity and trying to maintain their self-esteem. For these young women, this also concerns not getting a bad reputation. In this act of balance, it is difficult to discuss sexuality and how to protect one’s sexual health (IV).The discussion emphasizes that a professional caring dialogue with young people about STI: s and sexual-risk taking must have reference in the young person´s own reality. Thus, professional health care workers who meet a young person infected with an STI appear to face a challenging task. This involves helping reduce anxiety by defusing the situation, and at the same time to make the person understand the importance of using a condom in order to prevent STI: s.
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