Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 973706, 9 pages
Research Article

Gendered Perceptions of Sexual Behaviour in Rural South Africa

1Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Science Research Council, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2School or Politics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermartizburg 3209, South Africa
3School of Public Health, University of Witwarsrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
4Independent Consultant, P.O. Box 50167, Umkhomazi 4170, South Africa

Received 6 October 2010; Revised 7 February 2011; Accepted 14 April 2011

Academic Editor: P. Van Royen

Copyright © 2011 C. Ndinda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper discusses sexual behaviour findings collected through eleven homogenous focus group discussions conducted among women and men in a predominantly Zulu population in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The objective of this paper is to shed light on sexual behaviour in a rural community. The findings suggest that sex is a taboo subject and the discussion around it is concealed in the use of polite language, euphemisms, and gestures. There are gender and generational dimensions to the discussion of sex. The contribution of this paper lies in the identification of what rural people discuss about sex and the influence of cultural practices and urban or global forces on sexual behaviour in rural areas. The paper adds to the growing body of literature on the use of focus groups in understanding sexual behaviour in rural contexts.