The debut of the sexual and contraceptive life of Romanian female students: a qualitative study

Cristina Oaneş, Babes-Bolyai University

We used focus group to further understanding, deepening some information resulted from a former survey by questionnaire. This qualitative research ensured an efficient manner to gather a large variety of information in a short time and with low costs, and could be valuable in designing sexual health-related interventions. Our research was conducted in May 2009 on a group of female students of the Department of Sociology and Social Work from “Babes-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca. We organised two focus groups, moderated according to an interview guide corresponding to the designed qualitative study. Concerning the importance of the first intercourse, students were divided into those who attach it a special significance – especially virgin students – and those for whom this event was not special. We noticed three attitudes about the context within which students decide to start sexual activity: some support the necessity of sexual debut before marriage for obtaining sexual experience to improve their chances to find the ideal partner. Others would start their sexual life before marriage only if they have found the best partner. Finally, some girls are firm about delaying sexual relations until marriage. We noticed that these attitudes are strongly correlated with key determinants of the debut/ delay of sexual life: the peer group pressure, the stability of the couple relationship, the religiousness of the participants. The participants at the focus groups can be divided into those who planned the moment of the first intercourse and those unprepared for this. The former girls used the condom in unanimity, and for the later the first intercourse was unprotected, only one student appealing to emergency contraception. Concerning the sexual education, participants agreed unanimously that parents should perform it, and considered that it should be covered with all age groups and its contents should be differentiated by age.

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Presented in Session 20: Sexual and reproductive health: adolescents