The no-go zone: a qualitative study of access to sexual and reproductive health services for sexual and gender minority adolescents in Southern Africa

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dc.contributor.author Müller, Alex
dc.contributor.author Spencer, Sarah
dc.contributor.author Meer, Talia
dc.contributor.author Daskilewicz, Kristen
dc.date.accessioned 2018-04-12T09:47:52Z
dc.date.available 2018-04-12T09:47:52Z
dc.date.issued 2018-01-25
dc.identifier.citation Reproductive Health. 2018 Jan 25;15(1):12
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-018-0462-2
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27786
dc.description.abstract Abstract Background Adolescents have significant sexual and reproductive health needs. However, complex legal frameworks, and social attitudes about adolescent sexuality, including the values of healthcare providers, govern adolescent access to sexual and reproductive health services. These laws and social attitudes are often antipathetic to sexual and gender minorities. Existing literature assumes that adolescents identify as heterosexual, and exclusively engage in (heteronormative) sexual activity with partners of the opposite sex/gender, so little is known about if and how the needs of sexual and gender minority adolescents are met. Methods In this article, we have analysed data from fifty in-depth qualitative interviews with representatives of organisations working with adolescents, sexual and gender minorities, and/or sexual and reproductive health and rights in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Results Sexual and gender minority adolescents in these countries experience double-marginalisation in pursuit of sexual and reproductive health services: as adolescents, they experience barriers to accessing LGBT organisations, who fear being painted as “homosexuality recruiters,” whilst they are simultaneously excluded from heteronormative adolescent sexual and reproductive health services. Such barriers to services are equally attributable to the real and perceived criminalisation of consensual sexual behaviours between partners of the same sex/gender, regardless of their age. Discussion/ conclusion The combination of laws which criminalise consensual same sex/gender activity and the social stigma towards sexual and gender minorities work to negate legal sexual and reproductive health services that may be provided. This is further compounded by age-related stigma regarding sexual activity amongst adolescents, effectively leaving sexual and gender minority adolescents without access to necessary information about their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, and sexual and reproductive health services.
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher BioMed Central
dc.subject.other Adolescents
dc.subject.other Sexual and reproductive health and rights
dc.subject.other Sexual and gender minorities
dc.subject.other HIV
dc.subject.other Service provision
dc.subject.other Heteronormativity
dc.subject.other Criminalisation
dc.subject.other Stigma
dc.subject.other Southern Africa
dc.subject.other LGBT
dc.title The no-go zone: a qualitative study of access to sexual and reproductive health services for sexual and gender minority adolescents in Southern Africa
dc.type Journal Article
dc.date.updated 2018-04-09T15:05:07Z
dc.rights.holder The Author(s).
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
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uct.type.filetype Text
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