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Its rapid propagation is a worry to all social actors. Within two decades only, it has become, with malaria, one of the major causes of mortality in Africa Bongaarts and Way, As there is yet no vaccine against AIDS, all effective strategies are based on prevention: abstinence, fidelity and condoms use. This study was carried out in order to contribute to a profitable orientation of these programmes by providing the relevant data. Its specific objective is to show that poverty is a determinant of risky sexual relations among adolescents in Bamenda, the capital of the Cameroon Northwest province.
Bamenda had a population estimated at about , in the census; a large proportion of its inhabitants are younger than Since the beginning of the 80s, the Cameroon is going through a serious economic and financial crisis. The devaluation of the CFA franc in comparison with the French franc in a ratio of 1 to 2 has furthermore increased the gravity of the crisis, by reducing the per capita income for large sections of the population and increasing the cost of basic social services. This describes the economic context in which many young people live in Bamenda. It predisposes them to a variety of high-risk encounters of both sexual and non-sexual nature.
Three types of factors emerge from these: the socio-cultural, socio-economic and institutional factors. The most powerful stimuli for the adoption of a safe sexual behaviour are, according to the socio-cultural approach, more external to the individual, or linked to the pressure of the social group, than internal, or resulting from the personal awareness about the risks associated to sexual activity.
In other words, the only limits to sexual activity are essentially external constraints, which are imposed on the individual by the society Rwenge, a, b. One of the expressions of this approach is based on the thesis according to which the sexual activity of youths in urban areas is explained by "social disorganization", the weakness of social control or the slackening of sexual morals Calves, This thesis is part of the general theory of modernization, which is based on the weakening of traditional structures and the loss of control over youths by their elders. The new behaviours that follow are highly oriented towards personal satisfaction and individual gratification than family responsibility Diop, The socioeconomic approach considers adolescents as rational actors.
This approach is based on the principle that adolescents engage in sexual activity for economic reasons Cherlin and Riley, ; Feyisetan and Bankole, ; Meekers, ; Calves, ; Rwenge, a. Thus, according to this approach, economic conditions contribute to the engagement of youths in sexual activity. The satisfaction of sexual urges can take place among boys in exchange of gifts, clothes, money or paid jobs with married women or female adolescents.
Besides money, young girls believe gaining sexual experience to be a useful means of finding a spouse Muller cited in Rwenge, a; Calves, The third approach suggests that the adoption of a safe sexual behaviour depends both on the legal and political contexts and on the availability of condoms and preventive information Rwenge, a, b. There appears to be a close interdependence between them.
The socioeconomic approach would be more pertinent in urban areas than in rural ones, at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; the others the further the AIDS epidemic advances. So, unemployment and poverty may actually be the most important factors of sexual risk behaviour of young people in urban areas of Central and West Africa. Furthermore, many women have insatiable material needs and due to the difficult conditions of their life, they depend essentially on men for economic aid. Some spinsters even indulge in prostitution.
Indeed, a good number of young girls migrating towards big towns come from villages. Their main objective of going to town is to find a job. Thus, rich men benefit from the economic difficulties of poor young women to fully satisfy their sexual desires.
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Most married women depend upon their husbands for economic support. The problem is very serious in urban areas where men contribute significantly to family income. Indeed, generally men are the ones who are in charge of financial problems within households in these areas. In the current context of economic crisis, most of them give priority to the basic needs: lodging, feeding and health.
Housewives have in this context many sexual partners in order to improve their economic situation. Others decide to be small shopkeepers or traders. As they move every day away from their houses and do not gain enough money from their activities, they are also tempted to have extra-marital sexual partners. In the context of economic constraints, most married women do not negotiate the use of condoms during extra-marital relations; this depends on the willingness of their partners.
Furthermore, in some African towns, living conditions have become so hard that parents are unable to take care of their children, especially adolescents. Therefore, young people engage themselves in small businesses, like their mothers. As they usually carry out these activities along the streets or in bars, young girls are confronted with several temptations and sexual harassments while boys become delinquents and members of organized gangs Bangha, Thus, poor young girls, in particular those who do not go to school, prefer to have sexual relations with well-to-do men, generally married and older than them.
To increase their chance of meeting a wealthy man or having enough means to satisfy their needs, most of them have several sexual partners at the same time. So, poverty positively influences the vulnerability of young girls, since in Africa, relationships between young and old people are favourable to the submission of the former to the latter.
In this situation, young girls rarely use condoms. In case of economic hardship, young boys sometimes abandon their families to live in the streets. The poverty level of their families, the bad treatment and the exploitation they undergo at home push them out, far away. These boys are often victims of sexual cruelty of other street children or their employers subject.
Young boys from poor families can also receive assistance from girls either in the form of work for example, house services that some boys get from girls or money for example, assistance that some boys get from rich young girls or from married women who can clandestinely take care of them in exchange for sexual pleasures Rwenge, Thus, some young boys living in hard conditions opt for multipartnership because it increases their opportunities of having sufficient means for survival. Other young boys living in the same conditions rather engage in occasional sexual activity because they are not able to have durable relationships with young girls, which generally necessitate that they regularly satisfy the material needs of their partners.
H 2 Young people enter into sexual relationships for sexual satisfaction, for economic and marriage purposes. The young female were aged years and the young male years.
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In the first phase of this two-phase cluster survey, five neighbourhoods were randomly selected in proportion to the size of their populations. In the second phase, interviewers followed a preset itinerary from household to household until they reached the sample size of young people for a given neighbourhood. This survey collected data on social and economic characteristics of young people and sex education they received from their parents or guardians, knowledge about AIDS, their sources of information about AIDS, the prevention measures they have adopted and their sexual behaviour.
In addition to these, we used a social variable, namely the persons with whom young people lived at the time of the survey, since it is also in the African context, an indicator of their living conditions. These are having multiple concurrent sex partners, having had sex with a casual partner and failing to use condoms during sexual intercourse. We used data from two focus group discussions among young males, two other ones among young females and in-depth interviews with young females to highlight the second hypothesis. Sample Characteristics Table 1 presents the percentage distribution of young people by some of their characteristics.
It shows that males The percentage of young people who lived in households where there was no radio was low 9. On the other hand, the percentage of those who lived in households where there was no television was high Variables Percentage N Sex Male This last variable is based on the presence of selected durable goods.
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The young people whose fathers were unemployed are poorer than those whose fathers were managers or office workers and those whose fathers were skilled or specialized workers. Along the same lines, the level of poverty was considered to be higher in the last group than in the second one. The young people whose fathers worked in agricultural sector are also very poor but we presume that they did not adopt risky sexual behaviours because their socio-cultural environment influences these negatively.
Only The majority of the young people interviewed The percentage of those who lived only with their mothers 9. Nearly all Thus, the study was restricted to single young people.
Analyse biographique de la transformation des mo… – Cahiers québécois de démographie – Érudit
Most of them declared that they were schooling during the survey. The distribution of young people by their educational level shows that Only 4. As the dependent variables are dummy variables, we resort to multivariate logistic regression models. To analyze qualitative data we used the content analysis method.
The mean age at first sexual intercourse did not vary significantly with gender Forty-one per cent of sexually experienced young people had had casual sexual intercourse during the previous 12 months. Sexual activity was more common among young people whose fathers were unemployed odds ratio 1.
In addition, compared with young people whose fathers were managers or office workers, those whose fathers were unemployed were 1. Kamga, Hilaire. Kamgang, Hubert. Kanmogne Tamuedjon, Jean-Claude.
Kathyola, Janet and Oluwatoyin Job. London: Commonwealth Secretarial, Kengne Fodouop. Kinni, Fongot Kini-Yen. Bakassi, or the Politics of Exclusion and Occupation? Kofele-Kale, Ndiva. Bafoussam: Editex, Konde, Emmanuel.
Konings, Piet. Abbink and M. Kouomegne Noubissi, Hilaire. Krieger, Milton. Kuate, Jean-Pierre. Douala: AfricAvenir, Lambi, Julius. Landolt, Gabriela. Le Vine, Victor T. The Cameroon Federal Republic. Lippens, Ph. Lukong, Hilary V. Mabu, Peter T. Manessong, Charles.