Sexual Risk-taking Behaviours amongst Rural Adolescent Boys in a Province in South Africa: A Qualitative Study

Miriam Mogotsi, Saraswathie Govender, Kathryn Nel*, Indiran Govender

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Risky sexual behaviours amongst adolescents contribute to public health problems globally and can be linked to cultural norms and lifestyles. This study aimed to explore the influences that are related to sexual risk behaviours amongst adolescent boys in a rural setting in South Africa. Methods: The research was guided by Bandura’s social learning theory. The research used a qualitative approach with an exploratory phenomenological research design. Purposive sampling was used; 30 adolescent boys aged 13 to 18 years were recruited from 5 high schools in a province in South Africa. Focus groups were created, and data were analysed using thematic analysis (TA). Results: Five themes emerged naturally out of the data, namely: 1) Lack of parental communication about sex; 2) Alcohol use; 3) Media influence; 4) Pregnancy and manhood; and 5) Government grants. Conclusion: Findings revealed that the sample of male adolescents was involved in high-risk sex behaviours that were influenced by their sexual desires, consumption of alcohol, desire to prove their manhood, and receiving money from government grants. It was recommended that the Department of Education (DOE) in South Africa should implement and update sex education programmes at both primary and secondary schools.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18749445278672
JournalOpen Public Health Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Communication
  • Fertility
  • Peers
  • Sexual-risk taking


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