Exploring the perceptions of sexual abstinence amongst a group of young black male students.

Khunwane, Mamakiri Nomina
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Sexual abstinence has become the primary response to prevention against sexually transmitted infection (STI) and unplanned pregnancies amongst young people. However, not much is known about the perceptions of young men on sexual abstinence. The central aim in this study was to explore the perceptions of sexual abstinence among young black males. The research aims to examine men’s understandings of their own sexuality and the way these might influence their decision on sexual abstinence. A total of 10 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with young men aged between 18 and 25 years, studying at The University of the Witwatersrand. All data collected were then qualitatively analysed through the use of thematic content analysis (TCA). Findings show that in constructing their masculinities participants predominantly endorsed discourses of male hegemony. At some instances the young men retracted to subjective alternative masculinities, although there was a stronger need to fit in with their peers, to protect themselves from being ridiculed or rejected. As such conforming to the hegemonic masculinity was expected. The young men constructed women as sexual objects and as a means towards affirming their masculinity. A key conclusion drawn was that some traditional notions of manhood still held sway, and these tied in strongly with how these participants constructed their masculinity and this influenced most of them to not sexually abstain.
Sexual abstinence, Black male students