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The role of material deprivation and consumerism in the decisions to engage in transactional sex among young people in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi.
Global Public Health. 2016 Mar; 11(3):295-308.Transactional sex has been associated with a high risk of HIV acquisition and unintended pregnancy among young women in urban slums in sub-Saharan Africa. However, few studies have explored the structural drivers of transactional sex from the perspective of both genders in these settings. This paper explores how young men and women understand the factors that lead to transactional sex among their peers, and how deprivation of material resources (housing, food and health care access) and consumerism (a desire for fashionable goods) may instigate transactional sex in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi. Data from 5 focus group discussions and 12 in-depth interviews undertaken with a total of 60 young men and women aged 18-23 years old, conducted between December 2012 and May 2013, were analyzed using anticipated and grounded codes. Housing and food deprivation influenced decisions to engage in transactional sex for both young men and women. Poor health care access and a desire for fashionable goods (such as the latest hair or clothing styles and cellular phones) influenced the decisions of young women that led to transactional sex. Interventions that engage with deprivations and consumerism are essential to reducing sexual and reproductive health risks in urban slums.
Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 2003 Jun 30; 9(2): p..The purpose of this study is to examine sexual perceptions and conflicts among Korean teenage girls who have been involved in `compensated dates,' which is a form of sex work that may be temporarily undertaken by young girls or may lead on to prostitution. I have collected data from 12 girls, using in-depth interviews, who had experienced sexual abuse, and economic deprivation. These girls were rather maladjusted and had been abandoned by their families and schools. Their involvement in compensated dates began out of economic necessity, as they had run away from home. Sexual abuse was reportedly common for the majority of the respondents who had also suffered poverty and unhappy family lives. So these girls tended to seek compensated dates to overcome poverty. With poor education and skills, the girls viewed compensated dates as an easy strategy in the face of privation. In addition, the consumer society encouraged them to become sexually promiscuous to earn money, in order to buy and own more and more goods. The sexual conflict and ambivalence experienced by them were outcomes of their sense of sexual subjectivity. They saw their bodies as resources that were exchangeable for money, but they did not realize the internalized oppression they endured. They knew their bodies were a means of pleasure, but did not realize that sexual violence underlies it. The development of a stronger sense of self may resolve the conflict between the girls' curiosities and experiences concerning their bodies and sexuality. (author's)