Approaches to Regulating Adolescent Sexual Behavior in Ghana: Qualitative Evidence from Somanya and Adidome
This article examines perceptions of why HIV infection is severe among adolescents in Somanya and less so in Adidome—two seemingly similar communities in Ghana—through analysis of the social control measures employed by these communities to regulate adolescent sexual initiation. Using focus group discussions with parents and caregivers of adolescent children, the study found that parents in Somanya and Adidome used different regulatory mechanisms to influence adolescent sexual initiation. While parents in Somanya relied largely on parental monitoring, parents in Adidome depended more on a combination of neighborhood monitoring and community barriers (informal rules) to control adolescent sexual onset. The study findings showed that contextual factors (socioeconomic and cultural) shaped the social realities of people in these two communities accounting for the differences in HIV prevalence.
KeywordsAdolescents Sexual regulation Parents Community efficacy HIV/AIDS Sub-Saharan Africa
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethics approval for this study was granted by the Institutional Review Boards at the George Washington University and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants involved in the study.
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