Interview with Teresa, 20 - 21, White British, middle class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version including fieldnotes (Ref: MAG08)
Anonymised transcript of an interview with Teresa, who is at university studying languages. She would like a career in this field, but needs more business experience and would like to go into higher education. She has travelled a lot through Asia and Europe with her dad's job. Her twin sister is more 'feminine' than her, and Lucy doesn't find any interest in traditionally feminine things, like sewing or cooking. Her comprehensive secondary school provided limited sex education, a book that her mum had already given her. Teresa's mum told her about periods and she learnt about sex through the playground. Contraception was taught in school in one assembly, but only to the girls - it was considered their responsibility. AIDS was learnt about through media and the news. She had her first sexual intercourse at age 17, but had had some sexual relationships before then. Her first sex was with a male she had met on holiday, and they used a condom. She didn't enjoy it physically, but had learnt about female sexual pleasure and orgasms through reading magazines. She notes that her male peers would think a girl was a 'slag' if she asserted her dominance and right to pleasure within a sexual relationship. There is contradiction among her peer group around sexuality and reputation, where there was stigma around being a virgin in her later teens, but also a risk of being labelled as a 'slag'. She is on the pill and finds it convenient, but has used condoms inconsistently in her sexual relationships. Teresa doesn't consider herself as at risk of AIDS, but thinks that bisexuals and those who sleep around would be. She would be adamant on condom use in the future as she is starting to worry about risk of disease. She is happy to engage in casual sex, but recognises that there are gendered double standards in terms of sexual reputation.
Women, Risk and Aids Project (WRAP, 1989-90)
The Reanimating Data Project
Greater Manchester, UK
CC BY-NC 4.0