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Understanding poor sexual health in black British/Caribbean young men in London: a qualitative study of influences on the sexual behaviour of young black men

Gerressu, M; (2016) Understanding poor sexual health in black British/Caribbean young men in London: a qualitative study of influences on the sexual behaviour of young black men. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Young black British/ Caribbean men continue to be at disproportionally high risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the UK. The processes underlying these findings are not well understood. This study sought to examine the influences that put these young men at higher risk by exploring the social context of their sexual attitudes and behaviours, with a focus on the impact of their identities as black, young and male. / Methods: I conducted in-depth interviews with 20 young men and 12 key informants from GUM clinic and community settings in North West London from December 2009 to January 2011 to explore social factors that influence sexual partnerships and behaviours. The data were examined using thematic analysis. / Findings: Neighbourhood norms and peer pressure were very influential on sexual behaviour and beliefs from first sexual awareness into adulthood. Intergenerational age mixing and hypersexualised stereotypes created pressure for early sexual debut and restrictions in the expression of black masculine identities. Failed proximate relationships and fear of emotional distress promoted the dissociation of sex and emotion and a disregard for young women. The limited consequences of infidelity and acquiring STIs created little disincentives to sexual risk taking. However, young men reported good access to and experiences of GUM clinics. / Conclusions: Ethnicity expressed as cultural influences did not determine sexual behaviour, instead, limiting environments, the power of the local area, peers and stereotyped expectations were detrimental. The combination of black ethnic identities and urban male youth culture in deprived settings created social environments that encouraged particular expressions of masculinity and expectations. The central role of social exclusion and consequent vulnerabilities were overlooked by some key informants in exchange for ethnic or family problems risking the engagement in gender stereotypes overlooking the vulnerabilities and struggles of young men. These findings have implications for sexual health education, prevention and service provision. There is a need to increase opportunities for young black men in academic achievement, employment opportunities particularly in deprived areas and to better understand the impact of early sexual debut. Young men also need greater freedom in the ways they are able to express their male identity. Two key points of intervention were identified in the study, early in secondary school and at the beginning of college.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Understanding poor sexual health in black British/Caribbean young men in London: a qualitative study of influences on the sexual behaviour of young black men
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521018
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