Interview with Louise, 20, White British, working class, Fundamental Christian. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: USD06)
Anonymised transcript of an interview with Louise, 20, who works full time. She would have liked to continue with her education after leaving school, but her parents could not afford it. Her mum does not hold too many strict traditional values, but would like Louise to have a 'white wedding', but wait until she is financially secure before having children. Louise's dad has some Catholic values, Louise attends a Baptist church but is not too strict in upholding certain religious ideas around marriage and sexuality. She had some basic sex education at school, but found it quite nerve-wracking and prefers to read it in books at her own pace instead. She had her first at age 16, with her male partner as they were breaking up - she felt her virginity was something 'special' that she could give him. This was considered late to have her first sex within her peer group, but she did not feel any pressure to lose her virginity. She did not use any contraception as her first sex was unplanned, but she is now on the pill. Her best friend became pregnant at 15 due to condom failure, which resulted in a late term abortion. Louise doesn't consider herself a risk taker, but has some contradictory ideas around risk, sex and protection - she carries her own condoms, but does not always feel comfortable using them. She feels there is some stigma around visiting special clinics for STD testing and would like it to be more easily accessed. There is a general attitude among her peer group that it is easier to talk about protection against pregnancy rather than against AIDS, as asking a sexual partner about AIDS assumes a level of promiscuity in their sexual history. Louise thinks AIDS campaigning on TV and in the news had too much of a fear mongering element to it, and would like to see campaigns that give women confidence and support to navigate their sexuality in a healthy way. She has fairly liberal attitudes towards casual sex and female sexual pleasure, and largely derives her own sexual pleasure from male enjoyment in (hetero)sexual relationships and through oral sex. However, she believes sex needs to be penetrative for it be fully enjoyed, especially for males.
Women, Risk and Aids Project (WRAP, 1989-90)
The Reanimating Data Project
Greater Manchester, UK
CC BY-NC 4.0