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Young women's perceptions of being asked questions about sexuality and sexual abuse: a content analysis
Research and Development Unit, Primary Health Care, General Practice and Public Health, Falkenberg, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.
Research and Development Unit, Primary Health Care, General Practice and Public Health, Falkenberg, Sweden.
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2011 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 250-256Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: to describe young women's perceptions of being asked questions by midwives or doctors pertaining to sexuality and sexual abuse in connection with visits for gynaecological examination. DESIGN: a qualitative study. Data comprised responses to open-ended questions in a questionnaire and were analysed by qualitative content analysis. SETTING: a county in the south-west of Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: all of the 23-, 26- and 29-year-old women who attended eight midwife and youth centres for cervical screening during the period between March and July 2006 were invited to participate. The open-ended question about sexuality was answered by 413 women, and 409 women answered the question about sexual abuse, representing approximately 84% of the women who answered the questionnaire as a whole. FINDINGS: the data resulted in a total of eight categories and 31 codes, which showed the women's perceptions of being asked questions about sexuality and sexual abuse. Six of the categories dealt with why it was considered natural to be questioned. Health professionals can be trusted and questions can open up a dialogue as well as clarify the woman's situation. The context of a visit for a gynaecological examination is relevant and questions will make it possible for the professionals to strengthen the woman. Another reason was that sexuality is an essential part of life. Those women who felt that it would not feel natural to be asked questions about sexuality and sexual abuse considered that the context is wrong and that such questions will encroach on the woman's personal sphere. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: women's responses indicate that there are good reasons for midwives and doctors to raise questions about sexuality and sexual abuse when they meet young women. Taking opportunity to find those who have sexual problems and/or experience of sexual abuse could reduce the suffering of these women and lead to an economic gain to society. The provision of training and supervision for midwives and doctors is important to enhance the quality of conversations about sexual matters. In order to deal with such issues, it is necessary to have knowledge of sexual health, relationships and violence, as well as a professional stance and a good conversational technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 27, no 2, p. 250-256
Keywords [en]
Dialogue, Sexual abuse, Sexuality, Young women
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2914DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2009.06.008ISI: 000289071200022PubMedID: 19709790Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79953199867Local ID: 2082/3316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-2914DiVA, id: diva2:240132
Available from: 2009-09-02 Created: 2009-09-02 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Lidell, Evy A. S.Hildingh, Cathrine I.

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