2015 ICASA YouthFront Blog

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Double Standards: the construction of young women’s sexuality

“If one key opens five doors it’s a master key but if five keys are gonna be opening one door, the door is loose”.

By: Shamiso Madzivire

The opening statement clearly demonstrates the centuries old belief that men’s sexuality should be celebrated whilst that of women should be frowned upon as women are meant to control their sexual desires. This statement was made by one of my focus group participants when I undertook a research study for my Master of Arts degree last year (2014). The research was focused on the effect of socialization on the construction of Shona youth sexuality in universities in Harare and this paper shall be based on some of my findings in regards to how sexuality is constructed amongst the youth.

In recent times, a lot of attention has been on older generations and the attitudes they have regarding youth sexuality and how this affects young people’s ability to openly talk to their parents about issues surrounding sex and to access sexual and reproductive services. Although this is an important aspect to consider, I believe it is of greater importance to also look at youth attitudes and how these play a great role in decreasing the potential of young women to be empowered when it comes to taking their sexual and reproductive health into their own hands.

Read the rest of this Essay HERE.