Danger and sexuality: exploring negotiations in romantic and sexual relationships among university students in Ghana

Compton, Sarah D., Darteh, Eugene K.M., Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Omolo, Tanya, and Munro-Kramer, Michelle L. (2023) Danger and sexuality: exploring negotiations in romantic and sexual relationships among university students in Ghana. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 25 (4). pp. 428-443.

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Gender inequalities and social mores normalise gender-based violence in many settings. The goal of this study was to gain a more in-depth understanding of romantic and sexual relationships, consent, and gender-based violence among university students in Ghana. We used focus group discussions to explore individual factors influencing romantic and sexual relationships among students enrolled at a university in the Central Region of the country to inform the development and tailoring of future interventions. During a series of four focus group discussions comprising students recruited via convenience and snowball sampling, participants were asked to reflect on the nature of their romantic and sexual relationships. Demographic data and experiences of gender-based violence were also collected. The focus groups discussions were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Five themes were developed from the data: (1) traditional gender roles; (2) self-control; (3) relationship-based consent; (4) cheating; and (5) non-verbal communication. This study suggests negative health and social ramifications of violence will continue until there is a resolution of conflicting social norms that result in different expectations about how men and women can address their sexual needs. Future programming and interventions for gender-based violence prevention should reflect on their impact across all ecological levels.

Item ID: 73421
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-5351
Keywords: Romantic relationships, sexual relationships, intimate partner violence, Ghana, young adults, university students
Copyright Information: © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 08:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440504 Gender relations @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 100%
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