Young men's masculine learning in rural Kitui, Kenya: A qualitative study of Catholic influences
Methods: In-depth, face-to-face qualitative interviews (n=29) were conducted with young men (aged 16-20) who had been residents of Nyumbani Village for over 4 years. Participants were recruited from two secondary schools. A modified grounded theory approach guided data analysis.
Findings: Catholic teaching has greater influence on participants’ understanding of masculinity than any other source, including peers or male workers in the Village. Catholic-informed Village teaching on sexuality, however, contributed to stress and shame related to young men’s emotional and sexual attractions.
Conclusions: While young men equate masculinity with educational attainment more than any other attribute, they also cited Village policies mandating abstinence and refusing contraceptive coverage as barriers to learning how to be sexually healthy. As it celebrates the unique educational appreciation of its young men, Nyumbani is also struggling to acknowledge and address the unhealthy determinants of its policies.
1UNAIDS (2013) ‘Global Report 2013’
2USAID (2013) ‘Kenya HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet’
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify sources of masculine learning and influence on rural, Kamba young men. Discuss the effects of religious teaching and policy on youth health outcomes.
Keyword(s): Religion, Adolescents
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted original research on the topic of masculinity and religion as a Master of Public Health candidate during my applied public health practicum in Kenya, May 30 - July 29, 2014 in partnership with and under the supervision of the Emory University Interfaith Health Program.
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.