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Beyond love: a qualitative analysis of factors associated with teenage pregnancy among young women with pregnancy experience in Bolgatanga, Ghana

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Abstract

Globally, an estimated 16 million young women aged 15 to 19years give birth every year. Most teenage pregnancies are unintended and being pregnant or delivering a baby as a teenager can have serious adverse consequences. Knowledge of the environmental factors and social cognitive determinants influencing young women's failure to protect against unintended pregnancy is necessary to address the high rate of teenage pregnancies. We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 21 young women, who had experience of pregnancy, in Bolgatanga, Ghana. The interview protocol included themes (relationships, sex, pregnancy, family planning) and determinants (knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, norms, risk perceptions) derived from empirical studies and theories related to sexuality behaviour. Findings show that young women's motivations for sexual relationships are mostly beyond love' and seem to focus on economic factors. The main means of sexual protection seems to be condom use. Other forms of contraception were believed to be linked to infertility. Sexuality remains a largely taboo topic for open discussion and sex education in schools seems limited to abstinence-only messages. The need for more open communication on matters of sexuality with young people and the provision of a more comprehensive sexuality education in school to address teenage pregnancies in Ghana, is discussed.

    Research areas

  • Young people, teenage pregnancy, contraception, condom use, determinants, Ghana, SOUTH-AFRICAN RESEARCH, CONTRACEPTIVE USE, SEXUALITY EDUCATION, CONDOM USE, ADOLESCENTS, CONSEQUENCES, PARTNERSHIPS, DECADE, YOUTH, MONEY

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalCulture Health & Sexuality
Volume19
Issue number3
Early online date2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017