Online Program

Intergenerational sex, gift giving and intimate partner violence in Lesotho

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Jennifer Wheeler, PhD, Consultant, New Orleans, LA
Paul Hutchinson, PhD, Global Health Systems and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Inter-generational relationships (IGR)—defined as a 10-year age gap between partners—are thought to increase young women's vulnerability to HIV by limiting their agency and negotiating power. Particularly in transactional relationships, they may be at risk of sexual and physical violence and be less able to negotiate safer sex. The objectives of this study are to examine the associations between sexual and physical violence and condom use focusing on two key explanatory variables: 1) IGR, and 2) receiving gifts in exchange for sex. Data for this study come from a nationally representative sample of 821 young women aged 15-24, interviewed as part of an evaluation of an HIV/AIDS communication program in Lesotho. The analysis was conducted using multivariate logistic regression. IGR are associated with sexual violence, whether defined with a 5-year (OR=2.6) or a 10-year age-difference (OR=8.3). Receiving gifts for sex is associated with experiencing physical violence (OR= 3.0), but not sexual violence. IGR were not associated with condom use at last sex, however, condoms were twice as likely (OR=1.9) to be used in relationships where women received gifts in exchange for sex. This effect was more pronounced with non-cohabiting partners (OR= 3.3). Young women in IGR and receiving gifts in exchange for sex may be at greater risk for sexual and physical violence. In Lesotho, where nearly one-quarter of young women are HIV-infected, understanding the dynamics and complexities of relationships is critical to the formulation of comprehensive strategies that address young women's social vulnerabilities and decision-making within sexual relationships.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the associations between intergenerational relationships and the experience of sexual violence, physical violence, and condom use among young women in Lesotho. Describe the associations between receiving gifts in exchange for sex and the experience of sexual violence, physical violence, and condom use among young women in Lesotho.

Keyword(s): Violence, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have designed, implemented, analyzed and interpreted the results of multiple qualitative and quantitative studies on sexual behavior and HIV/AIDS prevention. I am interested in researching the interlinkages between violence and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.