|Investigating Students'Sexual Risk Behaviour, Risk and Protective Factors and Their Responses to the|
|Written by Given Chigaya Mutinta|
Investigating Students'Sexual Risk Behaviour, Risk and Protective Factors and Their Responses to the Scrutinise Campus Campaign at Universities in KwaZulu-Natal.
By Given Chigaya Mutinta (2011)
The high levels of HIV prevalence amongst young people in sub-Saharan African countries, have led to the clarion call for researchers to investigate the determinants to young people’s sexual risk-taking behaviour while others are exploring the usage of entertainment education (EE) so that effective prevention and interventions may be developed.
One critical aspect is that research efforts so far have been hampered by the adoption of models and perspectives that are narrow and do not adequately capture the complexity associated with young people’s sexual experiences. The distinctiveness of this study is therefore grounded in the focus on the risky sexual practices students engage in and their underlying risk and protective multisystemic factors in relation to the response of EE interventions. Thus, using the Problem Behaviour Theory, Reception Theory and the Social Cognitive Learning Theory, this study investigates the phenomena of students’ sexual risk behaviour in relation to the response of the Scrutinise Campus campaign.
The study is situated within the interpretative paradigm. It used a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology underpinned by in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation and field notes to draw data for this study. The study sample included students and programme officers for EE interventions offered to students. Findings of this study sustain the conclusion that students’ sexual risk behaviour is influenced by interrelated, interactional and transactional factors from the biological, environmental/social, behavioural and personality domains that either instigate or buffer against students’ sexual risk behaviour. However, Scrutinise Campus campaign’s messages do not fully address students’ sexual risk practices and their underlying factors as experienced by students.
It is critical to employ a comprehensive and continuum of EE interventions that are broad in scope and target factors from multiple systems of influence including the biological, environmental/social, behavioural, and personality factors. Most significantly, sources of protective influence should not be ignored when designing and implementing EE prevention programmes and, to the extent possible, both risk and protective factors should be addressed in the interventions. This may help to effectively address students’ sexual-risk taking behaviour in universities.