1st Edition

The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth
Implications for the Spread of HIV/AIDS

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ISBN 9780789008855
Published April 24, 2000 by Routledge
226 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Learn about Latino sexuality and how to help curb the spread of AIDS among young Latinos!

The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth: Implications for the Spread of HIV/AIDS is a comprehensive study of what young Latinos learn about sexuality and a detailed description of the latin sexual culture and its direct relation to HIV infection. This unique book discusses how the social construction of gender in Latin America contributes to sexual violence in countries such as Costa Rica, where violence is used as a means of controlling and asserting ownership over women's bodies by their fathers, brothers, and boyfriends. You will discover how this violence and control often leads women to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a seemingly hopeless condition that makes them incapable of responding to a new crisis. The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth calls for the development of individual prevention programs that take into account the differences in sexual culture and the role of gender and class in producing such differences.

The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth contains shocking information on several Latin American countries such as Honduras, which has more than fifty percent of the Central American AIDS cases. Twenty percent of the people there living with AIDS are fifteen to twenty-four years old. Through your knowledge of the situation, you can work to prevent tragedy among young people in Latin American who are among the least informed group on HIV prevention and the most likely to engage in practices that place them at high risk of contracting HIV.

Through The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth, you will discover unique tips and suggestions for connecting with young people and developing a program to lower infection rates, such as:

  • discovering how the Roman Catholic churches’position that a condom campaign to prevent HIV infection is immoral prevents young people from using condoms
  • realizing that censorship by the media and public at large regarding premarital sex and AIDS- related topics is one of the key barriers to effective AIDS prevention strategies
  • understanding that because sex education remains unavailable to the young people of Latin America, these countries will continue to experience unwanted pregnancies and HIV infection
  • recognizing that in Latin America, fear, guilt, disgust, and shame are all used in an attempt to control a young persons’body and assure that all expressions of sexuality are directly related to procreation
  • finding that young people in Latin America live at home until they are married, rely on their parents for gainful employment and are expected to live their lives for their families, not for themselves

    The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth discusses why traditional approaches to sex education in Latin America are ineffective and demonstrates what culturally-minded steps need to be taken to teach these youths how to protect themselves. The Sexual Construction of Latino Youth will help you make a difference and enable you to turn some of these tragic stories into successful and healthy lives.

Table of Contents


  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. General Overview
  • Study Rationale and Objectives
  • Structure of the Study
  • Chapter 2. Background
  • Sex Education in Costa Rica
  • Sexuality and Young People
  • Risk of HIV Infection Through Sexual Contact
  • Communities Studied
  • Chapter 3. Methodology
  • Organization of the Study
  • Specific Objectives
  • Target Population and Study Sample
  • Research Methods
  • Preparation of an Interview Guide
  • Selection and Training of Interviewers
  • Conduct of In-Depth Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Interviews with Community Leaders
  • Transcription and Data Analysis
  • Methodological Challenges
  • Chapter 4. Conceptual Frame for the Analysis of Sexual Culture
  • Introduction to Social Constructionism
  • Basic Principles
  • Sexual Discourses
  • Sexual Practice and Identity
  • Gender, Identity, and Sexual Roles
  • Discourses and Prevention
  • Power and Knowledge Articulated in Discourses
  • How Do Discourses on Sex Emerge?
  • Discourse Internalization
  • How are Discourses Imposed?
  • Contradictions Inherent within Sexual Discourses
  • Resistance to Dominant Discourses
  • Compartmentalization of Discourses
  • Chapter 5. Hegemonic Sexual Discourses
  • Principles of Religious Discourses
  • Principles of Gender Discourses
  • Principles of Scientific Discourses
  • Chapter 6. Assimilation of Religious Discourses
  • The Costa Rican Context
  • Female Religious Discourses
  • Male Religious Discourses
  • Community Religious Discourses
  • Fundamentalist Religious Discourses
  • Chapter 7. Assimilation of Gender Discourses
  • How Are Sex Roles Internalized?
  • Public Awareness of Gender and the Impulse for Change
  • Male Gender Discourses
  • Female Gender Discourse
  • Gender Discourses in the Communities
  • Chapter 8. Assimilation of Scientific Discourses
  • Scientific Discourses and young People
  • Chapter 9. Learning and Imposition of Discourses
  • Transmission of Messages
  • Learning and Repetition
  • Blind Acceptance, Essentialist Thinking, and Manichaeism
  • Proselytism
  • Social Instruments of Control: Punishment
  • Individual Instruments of Control: The Internal Watchdog
  • Chapter 10. Contradictions and Compartmentalization
  • Origins of Contradictions
  • Contradictions and Young People
  • Discursive Contradictions and Tolerance of Homosexuality
  • Discourses and Compartmentalization
  • Chapter 11. Formal Resistance to Discourses
  • Erotic Discourses
  • Romantic Discourses
  • Feminist Discourses
  • Chapter 12. Informal Resistance to Discourses
  • Resistance by Young Women in Villa del Mar
  • Resistance by Young Men in Villa del Mar
  • Resistance by Young Men in Villa del Sol
  • Resistance by Young Women in Villa del Sol
  • Chapter 13. Sexual Culture and Barriers to AIDS Prevention
  • Censorship
  • Internal Watchdog
  • Magic-Religious Thought
  • Compartmentalization
  • Sexual Violence
  • Economic Violence
  • Escapism
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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