Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor (Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology)


Sociology, Individual and Family Studies.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This research, utilizing data gathered among adolescent students living in rural southern Nigeria (Edo State), elucidates the youths' sexual understandings and their connections to HIV risk. I found that gender and age-related understandings acted as 'hubs' for the organization of the youths' sexual scripts. Overall, scripts that promote vulnerability to HIV include sex as controlled by the male, inherent in valued female/male relationships, a means to social status, and 'normally' violent. In addition, the youth do not view HIV as a present or preventable danger and view condoms as unreliable protection from disease that mainly work to disassociate oneself from a disrespected sex partner. Scripts that may promote the adoption of safer-sex behaviors include the ability to 'play love' rather than have sex in a female/male relationship, sex as a danger to personal and familial success, and condom use as a 'masculine' activity which demonstrates caring for the female partner.