Socio-cultural influences in decision making involving sexual behaviour among adolescents in Khayelitsha, Cape Town
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The aim of the study was to explore the socio-cultural influences in decision making involving sexual behaviour among adolescents in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Cultural beliefs associated with adolescents' decision to become sexually active were explored, as well as the social norms influences involved in adolescents' sexual behaviour. The theoretical framework used for the study was Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory of development. The results indicated that adolescent pregnancy was perceived as unacceptable behaviour although found widespread in communities. Social influences such as peer influence, low socioeconomic status, alcohol use and lack of parental supervision were found to play a role in adolescents' risky sexual behaviour. Cultural beliefs, cultural myths and social norms were identified as socio-cultural influences that endorsed issues such as gender disparities, which made adolescent mothers vulnerable. Findings from this study suggest that female adolescents are faced with sexual behaviour complexities.