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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


PACHECO-SANCHEZ, Carlos Iván et al. Meanings of sexuality and reproductive health in adolescents from Bogota. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, n.1, pp.45-51. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To describe and understand the meanings that adolescents give to sexuality and how they are created and influence adolescents' reproductive health and sexual practices. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The research was conducted in three different regions within Bogotá city. Twenty focus groups were selected and 20 life stories of boys and girls between 10 and 14 years old were transcribed. From inductive and deductive categorization of the transcripts of the oral histories, an interpretative analysis was carried out in order to generate concepts and relations that comprise plausible hypotheses about the meanings that circulate in the adolescents' symbolic universe. RESULTS: There are notable differences between the meanings that boys and girls give to sexuality, the ways in which such meanings are created, and the factors that contribute to its configuration. These findings imply dissimilar constructions related with reproductive and sexual health risks. CONCLUSIONS: The cultural constructions resulting from sexual differences that is, gender suggest the meanings that are given to sexuality in the groups studied and define ways of interacting with the social environment. Girls relate sexuality with reproduction and they experience it as negative. For boys, the possibility of a positive and pleasant experience of sexuality exists, marked by a context that encourages having sexual relations as a way of maintaining manhood.

Keywords : sexuality; sexual health; reproductive health; gender; adolescents; Bogota.

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