Perceptions of young males at the Free State School of Nursing with regards to teenage pregnancy
Madlala, Siphiwe Themba
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Introduction Teenage pregnancy is a socioeconomic challenge and an important public health problem for communities in South Africa. Considerable research has been done on teenage pregnancy in South Africa but it focused mostly on teenage girls. Aim of the study The aim of the study was to explore and describe young males’ perceptions, to identify the roles they play in this phenomenon and to determine the factors that influence their perceptions as well as their practices regarding teenage pregnancy. Methodology A qualitative, explorative, descriptive design was used to conduct the study. The study was guided by the Johnson Behavioural Model System. The study population consisted of young males who were studying at the Free State School of Nursing. Data saturation was achieved after interviewing 10 participants. The four major themes emerged from data obtained were as follows: Theme 1: Perceptions regarding teenage pregnancies, Theme 2: Risk factors leading to teenage pregnancies, Theme 3: Cultural and traditional practices influencing perceptions about teenage pregnancies, Theme 4: Measures to prevent teenage pregnancies. Thematic analysis of data was done. Results The findings of this study revealed that young males were not involved in reproductive health programmes aiming to prevent teenage pregnancies. They lacked knowledge regarding the use of, and the available types of contraceptives. Cultural and traditional practices such as misinterpreting circumcision and cultural beliefs, including misconceptions about sexual practices, played a crucial role such as not using contraceptives during sexual intercourse that could lead to teenage pregnancy. This study recommends that young males need to be actively involved in reproductive health.