Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Sexual Practices among University Students in Botswana

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Sexual Practices among University Students in Botswana

Article excerpt


The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the sexual behaviours of 346 undergraduate students at Botswana University, using selfadministered questionnaires. Presently, about two-thirds of the students reported, being sexually active. The majority used contraceptives, especially condoms. A large number of students were engaged in risky, sexual behaviours, such as having multiple sexual partners, inconsistent, contraceptives use, and intergenerational sex. It is necessary to modify the social and educational activities, to improve the understanding of the consequences of STI's and HIV and how risks could be minimized.

Keywords: Sexual behaviour, university student, Botswana.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


The African continent is most seriously affected by AIDS, specifically affecting the young people, disproportionately (Blum & NelsonMmari, 2004; Hartell, 2005; Monasch & Mahy, 2006; UNAIDS, 2008). Sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and unintended pregnancies have been increasing worldwide ,becoming one of the most important health issues for adolescent and young adults. The university environment creates a great opportunity for HIV high-risk behaviours to be experienced, including unsafe sex and having multiple partners (Duncan, Miller, Borskey, Fomby, Dawson, Davis, 2002; Tosh & Simmon, 2007; Lee, Salman, Fitzpatrick, 2009). Several studies on sexually related behaviours of students in universities, reflects the extent of high, risk behaviours for HIV and AIDS, present in higher learning institutions, both in the developed or developing countries (Inungu, Mumford, Younis, Langford, 2009; Alhikari, 2010; Buhi, Marhefka, Hoban, 2010; Caetano, Linhares, Pinotti, Maggio da Fonseca, Wojitani, 2010; Hoque & Ghuman, 2011). Globally sexual activity is reported to be rampant amongst university students (Teague, 2009; Alhikari, 2010; Buhi, Marhefka, Hoban, 2010; Caetano, Linhares, Pinotti, Maggio da Fonseca, Wojitani, 2010).

Botswana has ranked as the second highest in the world, regarding HIV, with a prevalence of 14.9% adults, of individuals between the ages of 15-49 years (UNAIDS, 2008). The average age of sexual initiation was 17.5 years, among unmarried adolescents (Francoeur & Noonan, 2004). Another study reported that amongst young people aged between 15-24 years, 12% of men and 25% women did not use a condom during their last sexual encounter with a non-regular partner (UNAIDS, 2006). Researchers have found significant correlation between risky sexual behaviour and alcohol consumption, which was similar for both men and women in Botswana (Weiser, Leiter, Heisler, McFarland, Percy-de Korte, DeMonner, et al, 2006). One sexual practice represented, by the different cultural dimensions in Botswana, associated with sexuality, was the intergenerational sex, or sex between young women or girls with older male sex partners (Ntseane & Preece, 2005).

There is no formal sex education in schools in Botswana, and studies have shown that many parents are uncomfortable talking about sexuality with their children (Advocates for Youth, 2009). However, young people received some information about sexuality and HIV prevention, both informally from friends and acquaintances, and through the Botswana's HIV prevention social marketing programs (Francoeur & Noonan, 2004) .The sexual behaviours and associated risky behaviours of University students globally have been investigated intensively in the literature. Currently, there is limited up-to- date information available regarding sexual behaviours of Botswana university students. Therefore, the purpose of this present studywas to provide empirical data about the sexual behaviours of university students in Botswana.


Study design, setting and population

This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted at the University of Botswana. The setting was the main campus, at the University of Botswana, which is situated in Gaborone, Botswana. …

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