How to Make Sense of Lover Relationships: Kwanyama Culture and Reproductive Health

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch

 Within medical anthropology and social medicine, researchers have been attempt­ing to understand why the knowledge that people possess about HIV/AIDS is often not applied to their sexual practices. The aim of this article is to identify factors that influence people to engage in unprotected sex in spite of a relatively high awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Girlfriend-boyfriend relationships, henceforward referred to as lover relation­ships, will be examined closely in order to understand how their dynamics encourage women and men to engage in risky sexual behaviour. In reaching a better understanding of lover relationships, and women and men's different situa­tions, the chapter will focus on the construction of gender identity among the Kwanyama people in Namibia. The construction of gender identity is thus utilised as the main analytical frame. Gender identities are shaped and altered in interac­tion with sociocultural factors. Therefore, the investigation into gender, relationship patterns and sexuality should be also entrenched within the study of the sociocultural realities within which people interpret and negotiate their lives and their sexuality (Ray 1996).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNamibia Society Sociology
EditorsWinterfeldt Volker
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationWindhoek Namibia
PublisherUniversity of Namibia
Publication date2002
ISBN (Print)9991659412
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ID: 5997277