Perceived gender relations and sexual relations among undergraduate female students in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Background. Literature worldwide has documented associations between gender-based relationship inequity, sexual communication self-efficacy, and actual use of condoms and contraceptives among young women. However studies that have rigorously tested these associations in southern Vietnam are extremely rare. This study aimed to examine these associations and other current sexual practices among undergraduate female students in the Mekong Delta. Method. A qualitative study was conducted to examine the operationalization of the Theory of Gender and Power and to obtain salient and culture-relevant dimensions of perceived gender relations in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Sixty-four undergraduate female students from two universities participated in eight group discussions focusing on their viewpoints regarding national and local gender equity issues. A subsequent cross-sectional survey consisting of 1181 third-year female students from Can Tho University and An Giang University was conducted. Latent variable modeling and logistic regression were employed to examine the hypothesized associations. Results. Dimensions of perceived gender relations were attributable to theoretical structures of labor, power, and cathexis. Perceptions about gender inequities were comparable to findings from several reports, in which women were still viewed as inferior and subordinate to men. Among students who had ever had a boyfriend(s) (72.4%), 44.8% indicated that their boyfriend had ever asked for sex, 13% had ever had penile-vaginal sex, and 10.3% had ever had oral sex. For those who had ever had penile-vaginal sex, 33% did not use any contraceptive method at first sex. The greater a student’s perception that women were subordinate to men, the lower her self-efficacy for sexual communication and the lower her actual frequencies of asking for contraceptive or condom use. Sexual communication self-efficacy was marginally associated with actual contraceptive use (p=.039) and condom use (p=.092) at first sex. Conclusion. Sexual health promotion strategies should address the influence of perceived unequal gender relations on young women’s sexual communication self-efficacy and the subsequent impact on actual contraceptive and condom use.

Indexing (details)

Public health;
Behavioral Sciences;
Gender studies;
College students
0573: Public health
0602: Behavioral Sciences
0733: Gender studies
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; Psychology; Gender relations; Safe sex; Self-efficacy; Sexual communication; Vietnam; Youth
Perceived gender relations and sexual relations among undergraduate female students in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam
Bui, Thanh Cong
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Markham, Christine
Committee member
Beasley, Palmer R.; Ross, Michael W.; Williams, Mark
The University of Texas School of Public Health
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Management
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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