Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Jour Essay

585 WordsMar 9, 20123 Pages
How can a child be a mother? Discourse on teenage pregnancy in a Brazilian favela JOA˜O EDUARDO COIN DE CARVALHO Universidade Paulista, Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil Abstract Contemporary research reveals the body as a privileged place for social memory and resistance, especially among those people who are politically and economically marginalized. But what might the body signify within the context of teenage pregnancy in conditions of chronic poverty? To explore these issues, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 boys and 17 girls living in a favela in Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil. In their responses, young people drew a clear distinction between sex and parenthood. If sex sometimes holds negative connotations, maternity and the physical appearance of pregnancy increases social status. Young people’s representations of teenage pregnancy do not portray it as a social or health problem. Instead, they understand it as a consequence of the desire to be visible and active in social life. Findings highlight the importance of investigating the relationship between young people’s sexuality and the social imaginary, particularly in conditions of social inequality and suffering. Re´sume´ La recherche contemporaine re´ve`le que le corps est le lieu privile´gie´ de lame´moire et de la re´sistance sociales, en particulier chez les personnes politiquement et socialement marginalise´es. Mais que peut signifier le corps dans le contexte de la grossesse chez les adolescentes et de la pauvrete´ chronique ? Afin d’explorer ces questions, des entretiens semi-structure´s ont e´te´ mene´s avec 21 garc¸ons et 17 filles vivant dans une favela de Sa˜o Paulo au Bre´sil. Dans leurs re´ponses, ces jeunes font une distinction nette entre les rapports sexuels et la parentalite´. Si les rapports sexuels sont quelquefois e´voque´s avec des connotations ne´gatives, la maternite´ et

More about Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Jour Essay

Open Document