The influence of biological factors on students’ sexual behaviour at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Mutinta, Given and Govender, Kaymarlin and George, Gavin and Gow, Jeff (2015) The influence of biological factors on students’ sexual behaviour at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal of AIDS Research, 13 (4). pp. 321-329. ISSN 1608-5906


Studies in South African universities reveal that the prevalence of sexual risk behaviour is very high, putting many students at high risk of HIV infection. This study explored the biological influences on students’ sexual taking behaviour at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A qualitative approach was used, comprising a total
of 80 in-depth interviews and 4 focus group discussions. These were conducted between late 2008 and early 2010. The research had equal representation of male and female students, different races, two campuses and different levels of study. Factors associated with students’ sexual behaviour were identified. The data were analysed using
thematic analysis, and the themes identified form the basis for discussion in this paper. Students’ sexual behaviour
was positively associated with the influence of a range of biological factors. Factors such as age, judgement of the health of the partner by looking at appearances, pursuit of physical beauty, sexual debut, sexual fit, and search for sexual pleasure encouraged students to engage in sexual behaviour. Most students are young and lack experience in assessing the influence of biological factors on their sexual behaviours, and need education on biological factors. This poses a big challenge to controlling students’ sexual behaviour, especially if HIV and
sexually transmitted diseases prevention interventions are to be successful.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 04:52
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 00:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: biological factors, HIV and AIDS, sex drive, sexual risk behaviour, university students
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2014.961938

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