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Psicologia: teoria e prática

Print version ISSN 1516-3687


OLTRAMARI, Leandro Castro  and  CAMARGO, Brigido Vizeu. Social representations of ‘sex workers’ about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and contraception. Psicol. teor. prat. [online]. 2004, vol.6, n.2, pp. 75-87. ISSN 1516-3687.

This study verified if social representations of female sex workers about STDs and contraception are different as a function of them having a romantic relationship with a steady partner who is not a client. Forty women were interviewed: 18 of them with this kind of partner and 22 without one. The interviews focused on their view of the risk of contracting STDs and becoming pregnant. Verbal material was analyzed through the software ALCESTE. Results indicated two social representations about STDs: one which associates them to remunerated sexual work (of women with a steady partner) and another that explains them by means of unprotected or condom-less sexual practice (of women without non-client steady partners). Concerning contraception, there was no difference as a function of the existence or not of a steady partner; age was more important. The younger women cared more about the prevention of pregnancy than STDs. Results indicate that prevention programs directed to sex workers should consider these differences in this group.

Keywords : social representations; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases; contraception; relationships; sex professionals; sex workers.

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