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dc.contributor.advisorRimal, Rajiv N.None
dc.contributor.authorHolman, Emily S.
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-15T17:28:41Z
dc.date.available2015-10-15T17:28:41Z
dc.date.issued2008-04
dc.identifier.urihttp://jhir.library.jhu.edu/handle/1774.2/38165
dc.description.abstractConcurrent sexual partnering is commonly discussed as a factor contributing to the epidemic spread of the HIV virus through sexual transmission in parts of Africa, including Mozambique. This paper explores the concept of sexual concurrency within a broader human behavior context, reflecting on a series of discussion groups conducted in Dec. 2007 in semirural communities in Central Mozambique. The objective is to better map the dimensions of sexual concurrency as it is perceived by adults in this setting, and to understand what normative social perceptions and other psychosocial factors may be contributing to community members’ opinions of and engagement in concurrent sexual partnerships. I first explicate the concept of sexual concurrency in the broader literature, looking across the definitional variations in the scholarly community in order to arrive at an operational definition of the phenomenon. Given the diversity of etiological lenses that researchers have applied to explain the causes of sexual concurrency, scholars offer a wide range of value judgments as to the behavior’s ultimate utility. The literature findings do not lend themselves to the assertion of a single, universally-applicable evaluation of concurrency as either good or bad for humankind. Subsequent analysis explicates the concept of concurrent partnering as it was expressed by the semi-rural Zambezian respondents. A model was proposed revealing five distinct categorical definitions of concurrency which all fall under a broader behavior respondents refer to as “walking outside the home.” Just as scholars tend to inscribe their particular interpretations of concurrency according to their disciplinary affiliation, similarly Zambezian respondents were encircled by predominant social norms that framed their evaluations of a given concurrent partnering behavior. Just as a scholar could not confidently pose a value label for concurrent partnering without neglecting a field of research, similarly Zambezian participants’ characterizations did not consistently condone or condemn all concurrency occurrences across the community, instead passing judgment according to the specific categorical location of that behavior vis-à-vis social norms, disease ramifications and anticipated life events. That is, each specific concurrency behavior appeared to carry its own distinct social norm. Community members may support a “mild” form of concurrency while simultaneously discouraging a more “extreme form,” just as an individual may alternately engage in or avoid that same behavior at different moments in his or her personal life. While HIV risk was found to be an important factor to community members in judging whether a specific degree of sexual concurrency is acceptable, there were additional psychosocial factors beyond economic need that factored into this judgment. Prevention practitioners in the area of HIV and sexual health could benefit from learning local social categories that lie within a given sexual “risk behavior” and learn to gauge the local social and personal risks which are also at play in defining these categories. Behavior change programs could likely increase their effectiveness if they could target each subcategory of concurrency separately, and account for the community’s distinct perceptions of each in messaging strategies or activity type. Research and practice can work together to identify such societal complexities, and not assume a state of consistent attitudes across a broad behavior, nor assume attitude-consistent behaviors within members of community. Finally, existing behavioral models for sexual concurrency or similar behaviors tend to focus either on situational factors or contextual (social) factors. A more comprehensive model could shift from a single behavioral outcome (concurrent partnering) to multiple behavioral outcomes (for each specific local concurrency behavior), and could specify social and situational factors for each.en_US
dc.languageen
dc.publisherjhuen_US
dc.publisherJohns Hopkins University
dc.subjectConcurrent partnershipsen_US
dc.subjectExtramarital relationsen_US
dc.subjectHIV infections--Risk factorsen_US
dc.subjectPhoto elicitationen_US
dc.subjectSexual partnersen_US
dc.subjectMozambiqueen_US
dc.title“Walking Around” in Central Mozambique: Meanings and Normative Perceptions Encasing Concurrent Sexual Partnershipsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHealth, Behavior, and Societyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorjhuen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.namemhsen_US
thesis.degree.departmentHealth, Behavior and Societyen_US


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