Interview with Donna, 18-19, White British, lower middle class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version including fieldnotes (Ref: NMC06).
Anonymised transcript of an interview with Donna, who is doing 'A' levels and 'O' levels at college. She recognises that her allocation into the 'top class' at school is partly due to her higher class background and the opportunities that this has afforded. She had a very positive experience of sex education at school with PSE lessons for two hours each week in mixed-sex groups. This was very informative, holistic and realistic, covering topics such as relationships, marriage, contraception, female sexual pleasure, masturbation, abortion, homosexuality and the potential impact of having children on relationships. She also learnt through television and conversations with her mother and older sister following her sisters' abortion at age 16. However, AIDS was not covered in detail in the sex education received at school, and this was largely learnt through magazines, leaflets and TV. She did not think that public health campaigns surrounding AIDS were useful as it did not address the possibility of contracting AIDS within a heterosexual relationship, instead focussing on needle users and gay men. Donna considers safe sex to be using condoms and not promiscuously engaging in casual sex. She does not agree with one-night stands. She is aware of and practices her entitlement to sexual pleasure within a heterosexual relationship. Donna had previously been in a relationship, but was subject to domestic violence from her male partner. The first time she had sexual intercourse was nonconsensual, but did not consider her virginity to be something that was important or sacred. In her current relationship she uses both condoms and the pill to protect herself against pregnancy, rather than to protect against transmitting STIs or AIDS. She would like to establish a career before thinking about marriage or children.
Women, Risk and Aids Project (WRAP, 1989-90)
The Reanimating Data Project
Greater Manchester, UK
CC BY-NC 4.0