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A descriptive model of emergent sexuality in greek cypriot adolescents

Background: Sexual health education and training is a matter of great importance, however it remains, most of the times, a controversial issue across cultures and countries. Risky health behavior, with the lack of insight, may be an obstacle in providing adolescents with greater opportunity for a healthy sexual and reproductive life. Purpose: To examine Greek-Cypriot adolescents’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and explore the influence of the dynamic interplay of transnational and local socio-cultural norms and values. Sample and Method: A Pancyprian survey of 697, third grade public general secondary schools students has been conducted. An anonymous and self-completed questionnaire was used to assess beliefs on sexual and reproductive health. For the analysis of data was used the statistical package SPSS 15 and the methods chi-squared test, pearson r and descriptive statistics. Results: Almost 50% (N=346) of the participants reported that contraception is a sin. The factors that affect adolescents’ emergent sexuality are church power (29%), family (79%), knowledge on sexuality issues (81%) and media power (43%). For the majority of the participants (97%) religion plays a central role in their daily life. Also, 30% (n=102) of males and 27% (n=97) of females stated that the church should be involved in sexuality education. Further, 42% (n=143) of the men believed that is acceptable for a woman to have premarital relations, as opposed to 31% (n=113) of women who believed that is acceptable for a woman to have premarital relations. Conclusion: The results reveal the influence of socio-cultural factors, such as church and family in participants’ understanding sexuality. The use of a descriptive model will help in understanding the local socio-cultural parameters that influence the general understanding of sexuality.

Author(s): Kouta Christiana

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