Gender Differences among Youth Who Have Sex with Wealthier Partners in South Africa

Nicole De Wet, University of the Witwatersrand

Power dynamics in sexual relationships are uneven. The partner who is older or has more money is often the decision-maker, especially if goods are exchanged for sex. This increases exposure to HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Although it is known that females have transactional sex, little is known of the young males who do the same. Studies have shown that youth are equally affected by poverty and consumerism, so it stands to reason that young males also have transactional sex. This study aims to examine the sex differentials in youth who have sex with wealthier partners. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used on a national sample of 25,914 youth who attend Higher Education Institutions. Preliminary results show that more females have sex with a wealthier partner than males. Most respondents who engaged in sex with a wealthier partner did not use a condom and do not live with their parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health