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Does "No mean no?": Factors predicting equity in sexual decision making in Zimbabwe

Paul Terry, PhD1, Tsitsi Masvaure, MA2, and Susan Adlis, MS1. (1) Park Nicollet Institute, 3800 Park Nicollet Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416, 952-993-3799, terryp@parknicollet.com, (2) Shape Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Shape Zimbabwe is a university based NGO dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention through peer counseling, education, civic engagement and volunteerism. We administered an eight page questionnaire to 933 randomly selected students at the University of Zimbabwe. We used stepwise logistic regression to examine the cultural belief that when a woman says no to sex she actually means yes and identified five independent variables as being significantly associated. We found that male students who do not agree with the statement ‘when a woman says no to sex she means no' were more likely to believe that women who expect to share power equally in their relationships are ‘radical feminists' (p=0.0033). They are also more likely to believe that it is acceptable for men to dominate women sexually (p=0.0001) and to disagree that men and women should be equal partners in sexual decision-making (p=0.0039). Interestingly, male students who hold these beliefs were also less likely to have been tested for HIV (p=0.0484) and to have a prior history of sexually transmitted infections (p=0.0147). Overall, our analysis suggests the question “Does no mean no?” serves as a useful proxy for understanding attitudes predictive of risk taking and inequity in sexual decision making. Though the “A,B,C” approach to HIV prevention is a good place to begin, we believe that university aged students, with an emphasis on greater involvement of men, need to participate in facilitated discussions concerning gender equity and shared decision making in order to significantly affect risky sexual decision making.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session learners will be able to

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, International Public Health

Related Web page: www.shapezim.org.zw/

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

HIV/AIDS: A Focus On Africa

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA