Monday, February 22, 2016

Gender-Specific Jealousy and Infidelity Norms as Sources of Sexual Health Risk and Violence among Young Coupled Nicaraguans

Gender inequity negatively affects health in Central America. In 2011, we conducted 60 semistructured interviews and 12 photovoice focus groups with young coupled men and women in León, Nicaragua, to explore the ways in which social norms around marriage and gender affect sexual health and gender-based violence. 

Participants' depictions of their experiences revealed gendered norms around infidelity that provided a narrative to justify male expressions of jealousy, which included limiting partner autonomy, sexual coercion, and physical violence against women, and resulted in increased women's risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. 

By understanding and taking account of these different narratives and normalized beliefs in developing health- and gender-based violence interventions, such programs might be more effective in promoting gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors among young men and women in Nicaragua.

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  • 1At the time of the study, Sabrina Boyce was a US Fulbright fellow in León, Nicaragua. Perla Zeledón and Ever Tellez were with el Centro de Investigación e Intervenciones en Salud, León, Nicaragua. Clare Barrington was with the Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 
  •  2016 Feb 18:e1-e8.

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