Factors Affecting Sexual Behavior among Luo Adolescents in Nairobi

Salome N. Wawire, Brown University

Sexuality theories show sexual behavior to be strictly guided by culturally acceptable values and norms. However, these values, attitudes and norms change through time, and recent studies show that sexual behavior is gradually changing too, especially when comparisons are made based on residence, age and socioeconomic status. This paper uses data collected from case studies of urban Luo parents and their adolescent sons/daughters, and direct observations, to establish the link between migration, 'sexual cultures' and adolescent sexual behavior. The study was carried out in three locations in Nairobi, selected across social class and levels of exposure to other 'sexual cultures'. Issues ranging from socialization, parent-child relationships, to attitudes/values towards sexuality are explored. While this paper identifies change as being influenced by migration, urbanization and unfavorable socioeconomic conditions, it also identifies the weakening of social roles, norms, cultural practices, beliefs and worldviews, as underlying change in adolescent sexual behavior in Nairobi.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children