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Title: Brazilian adolescent women talk about HIV/AIDS risk : reconceptualizing risky sex : what implications for health promotion?
Author: Oliveira, Dora Lucia Leidens Correa de
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 1339
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores how adolescent women see the risk of contracting AIDS in heterosexual relationships, 'how' in terms of viewpoints but also of the processes in which these viewpoints are constructed. The thesis is based on sociological theories of 'health' and 'risk' and sociological critiques of the scientific approach to 'risk' adopted by health promotion. The thesis draws on focus groups data gathered in twenty-four group meetings with adolescent women from a big city of the South of Brazil. The thesis develops the argument that 'sexual risk' in general and 'HIV/AIDS sexual risk' in particular are epistemological constructs, for 'risk' is not an event 'per se', but an event constructed through knowledge. The thesis assumes that it is important to investigate the many layers of knowledge that underpin adolescent women's conceptions of 'sexual risk' because this provides information about what they mean by that and how those meanings are constructed. The thesis challenges health promotion's idea that adolescent women's practice of 'unsafe sex' is the result of ignorance or incorrect perception of the risks of sex. The thesis demonstrates that adolescent women are very good learners of health promotion's messages on 'safe sex'. They know the risks and the available selfprotection strategies. They also know that it is their responsibility to take care of themselves and how important this is in a social environment that is continuously risky. The thesis argues that although sexual risk assessment is an operation influenced by a number of knowledges, health promotion's knowledge is the most influential of all. To learn the lessons of health promotion discourses on 'choice' implies to invest in 'self-governance'. The thesis concludes that this ideal of self-governance underpins adolescent women's conceptions of risky/safe sex and that it produces conceptions of risky/safe sex that are distinct from those used by health promoters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available