Male unaccompanied refugee minors’ perceptions of relationships and information about sexual health in Sweden - ‘it feels like you’ve been in prison and then set free’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Unaccompanied refugee minors represent a potentially vulnerable group regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly due to the circumstances surrounding their migration. Research is scarce about the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of unaccompanied minors, many of whom come from countries with limited access to information about sexual and reproductive health and rights. This study aimed to gain a deeper understanding of how unaccompanied minors in Sweden experience romantic and/or sexual relationships and their need for sexual and reproductive health and rights information. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight young men who had sought asylum in Sweden as unaccompanied minors. Qualitative content analysis identified three themes: “being confronted with a different type of ‘sexual’ society”, “becoming ready for information about sexual and reproductive health and rights” and “moving forward as a person ‘in the know’”. These themes illustrate the process of relating to a society with different norms and beliefs about relationships and sexual and reproductive health and rights information than in the country of origin. The Young men’s difficulties in taking the initiative when talking about sexual and reproductive health and rights in combination with their perceived strong self-efficacy in finding sexual and reproductive health and rights information is noteworthy and should be considered by health professionals aiming to reach this group. The findings highlight the importance of access to formal sexual and reproductive health and rights information for unaccompanied minors and young migrants with similar needs.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Keywords

  • refugees, sexual health, Sweden, Unaccompanied minors, young migrants
Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Mar 4
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes