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Open AccessArticle

Follower-Centric Influences on Sexual Decision Making in a Pentecostal Church Faith Community

by Elias Mpofu 1,2
1
Discipline of Rehabilitation Counselling, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney 2141, Australia
2
Research and Innovation Office, Academic and Research, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing
Religions 2016, 7(6), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7060066
Received: 12 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
This study utilized participatory action research approaches to construct a follower-centric framework for measuring influences on sexual decision making by youth members of a church organization. Participants were Batswana Pentecostal church members self-reporting on their engagement in pre-marital sex (n = 68, females = 62%; age range 15–23 years; median age = 20.3 years) from eight of 26 randomly selected congregations. They completed a multi-stage concept mapping process that included free listing of statements of potential influences on their sexual decisions. They then sorted the statements into groupings similar in meaning to them, and rated the same statements for relative importance to their sexual decisions. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis of the data yielded a five cluster solution in which church teachings emerged as most salient to the teenagers’ sexual decision making followed by future orientation, community norms, knowledge about HIV/AIDS and prevention education. While the youth believed to be influenced by religion teachings on primary sexual abstinence, they self-reported with pre-marital sex. This suggests a need for secondary abstinence education with them to reduce their risk for STIs/HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Concept mapping is serviceable to construct frameworks and to identify content of follower-centric influences on sexual decision making by church youth members. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexual decisions; wellbeing; health; religion environment; church community teenagers sexual decisions; wellbeing; health; religion environment; church community teenagers
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Mpofu, E. Follower-Centric Influences on Sexual Decision Making in a Pentecostal Church Faith Community. Religions 2016, 7, 66.

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