Field notes from interview with Sally, 16, white British, working class, no religion. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, London, 1989. Anonymised version. (Ref: LJH24)
Anonymised field notes from an interview with Sally. The field notes briefly mentions Sally's current relationship with her boyfriend of one week, her family life and relationships with her parents and younger brother, and the sex education she received at her all girls' secondary school - mostly in science lessons.
1989-06-20 00:00:00
Janet Holland
Reanimating Data Project
Temporal Coverage
Spatial Coverage
CC BY-NC 4.0
extracted text
LJH24 20.6.89
16,10; lives with ma, pa, younger bro; Ma – [CATERING ROLE]; pa- [ANIMAL
WELFARE ROLE]; she works 7 and 3/4 hours Sat in bakers; ESW; no religion
(formally C of E); ss school prior college; has 9 GCSE, doing A level sociol.,
chemistry, biology and taking GCSE physics; hetero, current boyfriend but no sex
There is a bit on this interview where the tape slows down, it actually stopped and we
missed a little bit of the conversation, but not much. We retraced it a bit afterwards and it
made LJH24 a bit self conscious (we discussed it later) but she soon got back into it. She
said that she often feels shy and cannot speak to people, but if she gets more relaxed
(like with me!) she can talk. Liked the interview bcs it gave an opportunity to think and
talk about things that she does not usually do. {Is this JH just trying to justify
incompetence in letting the batteries run down again! Probably. But seriously it was a
small section on relationships with parents that was lost - i.e. that her dad seems to
understand her, but she can talk more easily to her mum. That sometimes, even when
her mum agrees with her, she does not support her with her father. Ma says she does
not want to be involved, but might later reveal that she did agree with 24 to her. 24
sometimes gets annoyed at that, although she can understand it. That was a recurring
feature of her comments, being able to see the other persons point of view, even tho she
disagrees or may be annoyed about it.}
She is short, pretty, dark haired, rather young looking and seeming, worried about her
appearance at times (she said). Light T shirt with small pattern, short white cord skirt. No
sex yet but in a relationship (one week) with a boy (17) at college who she has in fact
known for some time. She values this relationship and feels she can talk to him like a
friend. She thinks he may be pushing the pace in terms of the change in the relationship,
ringing her every day. She feels if she says don't ring every day he will think she is
putting him off, but really it is really to keep the excitement, have something to talk about
when they do get in touch. [He had a relationship from age 11 to this February, and
thinks this relationship is moving a lot faster than that one, getting involved more rapidly.]
No sex yet but is almost at the point. Maybe he wants it more than her, but would not
force it. She thinks they must discuss it first and she should get contraception (the pill),
and he should use condoms. But there is a slight feeling of the 'carried away', or that
thinking and talking about it takes away the spontaneity and excitement. She sometimes
feels like being carried away when they are kissing but she thinks what if I did it, what if I
got pregnant, and in fact he holds back at that point.
She thinks of sex as penetration, and clearly feels that she will do so fairly soon, but the
question re safe/non-penetrative sex made her think of other aspects "foreplay, that's sex
too, hadn't thought of it like that". And they do engage in that and she does enjoy it. She
could not tell her parents, who are clearly quite strict with her, if she went on the pill.
They worry if she is out later than allowed (whilst not re her brother, which gets to her,
especially as he does stupid things and is easily led by his friends). He is 12 (qr) or 14
(interview), she talked a bit re problems in the relationship with her brother, and how this
operates in interaction with ma and pa.
She thought sex education was technical and no emotions, mostly in science lessons.
But did have someone come in and talk re AIDS from which she learned the basics. She
wondered how some young found out about sex (and periods) when parents did not tell
them about it, and school does not provide adequate information.