Original Articles

Young Rural Males in South Africa Speak on Teenage Pregnancy: “It's Really Her Problem”

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 20, issue 4, 2010 , pages: 537–546
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2010.10820412
Author(s): Reshma SathiparsadUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal,


The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of school-going rural males in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on teenage pregnancy. Two methods of data collection were used, namely, a quantitative survey with a sample of 294 male youth from 10 schools. This was followed by focus group interviews with three groups, each comprising ten males, from three of the schools. Quantitative data examined self reported knowledge, behaviours, beliefs and attitudes of participants relating to teenage pregnancy. Qualitative data from the focus groups generated both an individual and ‘group think and provided insights into the relational construction of these beliefs and behaviours. Although the analysis revealed some mixed reactions, the majority response pointed to ‘dominant male-submissive female’ views of sexual relationships. Most participants supported the notion that the burden of pregnancy fell on the female, with males frequently denying paternity and criticizing females for careless sexual behaviour. Attributions for teenage pregnancy by boys are important for intervention to curtail impact on survivor girls.

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