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- PublicationMasculinities and young men's sex education needs: problematising client centred health promotion approachesIn recent decades, dominant discourses in health promotion have emphasized empowerment, client participation and the notion of people identifying and being facilitated to meet their own health needs. However, there has been little analysis of the concept of ‘need’ and the possibility, at least, that the fulfilment of some such self-defined needs are not in the interest of social justice and equality. In this article, we present an account of the sex education needs of secondary school pupils from their own perspectives, and problematize the concept of self-identified needs in health education. Twenty-nine focus group interviews were conducted with 226 secondary school pupils in Ireland, and data were subjected to a qualitative analysis. Findings suggested that young men tended to prioritize practical guidance that would provide them with the skills and confidence to take the lead in sexual encounters, and display competence in the act of penetrative sex. We argue that these self-defined sex education needs emanate from a culture of traditional masculinity where, for a male, one's place in the pecking order is derived from one's capacity to conquer, lead and display mastery with regard to sex. In the discussion, we attempt to unpack the notion of clients identifying their own needs and the concept of empowerment as it relates to our data, in the context of gender-based structural inequalities
215Scopus© Citations 14
- PublicationYoung men's vulnerability in constituting hegemonic masculinity in sexual relationsThis article reports on a qualitative analysis of theThis article reports on a qualitative analysis of the accounts of young men on their experiences of heterosexual encounters. Based on data collected in Ireland using 17 focus groups with 124 young men aged between 14 and 19 years (a subsection of a wider study), the manner in which intricate peer groupmechanisms acted as surveillance strategies in regulating the young men toward presenting themselves in ways consistent with hegemonic manifestations of masculinity is explored. However, there were also elements of resistance to such a culture in the way in which sexual pleasure for some young men was derived relationally through giving pleasure rather than merely through mechanical, emotionally detached sexual acts that characterize hegemonic masculinity. In emphasizing male vulnerabilities such as uncertainty, fear, and rejection in the realm of sexuality, it is proposed that one must not lose sight of the broader context of male sexual dominance for which, as data indicate, men themselves pay a price.
Scopus© Citations 42 808
- PublicationThe focus group method: insights from focus group interviews on sexual health with adolescentsThis article concerns the manner in which group interaction during focus groups impacted upon the data generated in a study of adolescent sexual health. Twenty-nine group interviews were conducted with secondary school pupils in Ireland, and data were subjected to a qualitative analysis. In exploring the relationship between method and theory generation, we begin by focusing on the ethnographic potential within group interviews. We propose that at times during the interviews, episodes of acting-out, or presenting a particular image in the presence of others, can be highly revealing in attempting to understand the normative rules embedded in the culture from which participants are drawn. However, we highlight a specific problem with distinguishing which parts of the group interview are a valid representation of group processes and which parts accurately reflect individuals' retrospective experiences of reality. We also note that at various points in the interview, focus groups have the potential to reveal participants' vulnerabilities. In addition, group members themselves can challenge one another on how aspects of their sub-culture are represented within the focus group, in a way that is normally beyond reach within individual interviews. The formation and composition of focus groups, particularly through the clustering of like-minded individuals, can affect the dominant views being expressed within specific groups. While focus groups have been noted to have an educational and transformative potential, we caution that they may also be a source of inaccurate information, placing participants at risk. Finally, the opportunities that focus groups offer in enabling researchers to cross-check the trustworthiness of data using a post-interview questionnaire are considered. We conclude by arguing that although far from flawless, focus groups are a valuable method for gathering data about health issues.
2836Scopus© Citations 112
- PublicationStaff nurses' perceptions of supernumerary status compared with rostered service for Diploma in Nursing studentsBackground/rationale. In the Republic of Ireland, the amount of clinical teaching expected of staff nurses has increased substantially in the wake of the transfer of nursing education to universities, and the advent of supernumerary status for students. A modicum of previous research noted that staff nurses are unclear about their role in relation to facilitating the clinical learning of supernumerary students.. Aims of the paper. To explore staff nurses' perceptions of their role in the facilitation of learning for university-educated diploma students in the clinical area and their attitudes towards these students.. Design/methods. Sixteen staff nurses were interviewed in depth using semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed qualitatively, using content analysis, with the help of the software package NUD*IST.. Findings. Among the central themes to emerge, upon which this article is focused, was participants' perceptions of supernumerary status compared with rostered service for diploma students. Data suggested that the rostered status of students was generally favoured by staff nurses over and above supernumerary status because, unlike supernumerary students, rostered students did not disrupt the existing social structure within the clinical setting. Both structuration theory and role theory are drawn upon to explain the reproduction of the prevailing social structure, where the concentration is on getting through nursing work with little emphasis on the supervised learning of supernumerary students.. Study limitations. This study is constrained by eliciting only the views of staff nurses. Further studies are required of student nurses' experiences of rostered service and supernumerary status.. Conclusions. Because staff nurses are part of the system within which they work, they need to modify their role to include active student teaching as a legitimate component of that role..
1061Scopus© Citations 9
- PublicationHeterosexual experiences of secondary school pupils in Ireland: sexual coercion in contextThis paper reports on data from a wider study of young people's heterosexual experiences in Ireland, but focuses in particular on issues of sexual coercion. Data were gathered from 29 focus group interviews with 102 young women and 124 young men and were analysed using a qualitative research strategy. Drawing on concepts of social coercion and interpersonal coercion, we argue that both female and male participants reported a general sense of social coercion to lose their virginity by a certain age. However, narratives of interpersonal coercion were far stronger in the case of the young women compared with their male counterparts, while the young men reported a particular type of social coercion that propelled them to subscribe to conventional heterosexual male behaviour. We argue that while the distinction between social coercion and interpersonal coercion is far from watertight, it is a useful conceptual tool in identifying broad variations in women's and men's sexually coercive experiences.
Scopus© Citations 10 601
- PublicationSafer heterosex: perspectives from young men in IrelandBackground: Existing research indicates that large numbers of people do not consistently use condoms when embarking on sexual relationships and instead use unreliable social cues to determine whether a potential partner is likely to have a sexually transmissible infection. This article reports on an aspect of the first major piece of qualitative research that explored young people's perspectives on sexuality in Ireland, and focuses Oil how young men made sense of risk when it came to sexual behaviour. Methods: Seventeen focus group interviews (collectively comprising 124 young men) were conducted with male secondary school pupils in Ireland, whose ages ranged from 14 to 19 years. Results: The data are structured around three themes that capture how study participants made sense of sexual safety. These themes are: (i) rumour, local hearsay and 'knowing' a potential partner; (ii) the social construction of the 'slut' category; and (iii) women as 'bearers of disease'. Young women in the young men's social group tended to acquire a specific sexual identity, not necessarily through any definitive evidence of their sexual history, but rather through their normative behaviours - dress, presentation, appearance and so forth. It was on this basis that the sexual status of a young woman was judged. Conclusions: Based on participants' accounts, we conclude that notions of safer sex are not merely established in individual discussions between a couple embarking on a sexual relationship, but rather are produced discursively in the wider social setting beyond the sexual encounter
Scopus© Citations 11 451