The power dynamics of unequal sex : A qualitative study to explore perceptions of gender, power and safe sex behavior in Thailand
Sammanfattning: This report was the outcome of a Minor Field Study project, financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and carried out in the areas of Rayong and Pattaya, Thailand. The purpose of the study was to explore how social workers experience gender inequalities and HIV. Though condoms are available, safe sex is not practiced whether it be within steady relationships or in the sex trade. We interviewed fifteen social workers who are currently working with those who are HIV positive or in a risk zone. Our aim was to hear their reasons why safe sex is not practiced even though being HIV positive caused social, physical and financial havoc. We then analyzed the material using Connell’s theory of sexual inequality, gender and power imbalances by help of the data analysis program ATLAS-ti 6.2. Our findings showed several examples of how the social workers interpret gender inequalities which created situations where women and youth became vulnerable to the transmission of HIV. Due to the power men have over women, culturally-based inequalities, religious proxies, social workers believe women are not able to decide when it comes to practicing safe sex or not.
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