Lack of sexual awareness

Develop and present a coherent and realistic intervention proposal, showing an
understanding of the main theories that will inform the proposal referencing relevant
literature. You will be expected to give examples of the methodologies used when enforcing
the proposed intervention and defend and discuss issues raised. You must show
consideration of the background and need for the proposed intervention, the way in which
it could be evaluated and any ethical or legal limitations.
The idea of this assessment is to “sell” your health intervention with health psychology
expertise to an appropriate audience.

Women Promoting Female Sexual and Reproductive Health among Young South Asian Women

Identifying the problem

Lack of sexual awareness

This inadequacy in the level of awareness that young south Asian women have exhibited is
characterized by ignorance about their sexuality and the implications of the developments taking
place in their bodies. Upon reaching puberty, changes such as broadening of their hips and the
menstrual cycles are taken for granted and when discussed it is often under very hushed tones.
The whole issue is then swept under the proverbial carpet as they let nature take its course. Their
perceived short-term benefit of ignoring this is that they get to avoid the potentially awkward
conversations that are likely to be experienced when they discuss such matters. The downside of
this however is much more profound since majority of them also miss out on an opportunity to
understand the implications of the bodily changes and functions they are experiencing. It is
tantamount to getting a new car and driving it around with no information on how to maintain it
or rectify mechanical problems that are bound to occur. In the same way, these young women

live their lives ignorant of the potential diseases and health complications that they are bound to
contract in the event that they engage in unsafe sex (Dhar et al, 2010).

Cultural Issues related to the lack of awareness

Many if not all south Asian traditional cultures frown upon the idea of discussing sexual matters.
Menstruation for instance is largely considered as an impure affair thus making its discussion a
taboo (Roberts, 2008). Perhaps the mentality behind this is to preserve modesty since it will also
be unwise to lay all and sundry in the open. At the same time, these cultural practices continue to
be propagated despite the increasing rate of sexually transmitted diseases as well as health
complications attributed to reproductive health. The main idea that seems to be the modus
operandi is for a young woman to catch up with information about her sexuality once she is
married. This obviously contravenes the principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’ since a
person armed with information on her sexuality will be more alert and thus in a position to
protect herself behaviourally, through protection or seeking timely medical advice in the event
that there is need. The challenge attributed to culture is a strong force to reckon with since it is
the earliest form of socialization that a child is exposed to both at home, in school and in society
as well (UNESCO, 2012).


Encouraging women’s access to reproductive and sexual health information and advice

Since the main challenge is attributed to widespread levels of ignorance on reproductive health
among the young women who are the subject of this study, it is imperative that measures be
taken to ensure they are exposed to this information so that they can internalize it and thus turn

the tables on the negative impact that is attributed to the lack of knowledge. This can be done by
employing the different forms of communication that can be sued to reach them. This means face
to face interactions, radio programs, television, the internet as well as pamphlets.

The Health belief model is a representation of the different psychological models and how they
can be employed in predicting an individual or group’s attitudes and behaviours towards their
own health. This will be instrumental in pin-pointing the exact areas that need intervention and
the degree to which the said intervention will be applied (Rosenstock et al, 1988).

Increased perceived susceptibility is another area of concern that needs to be urgently addressed.
This perception can be attributed mainly to globalization that has made access to foreign cultures
much simpler through advancements in communication and travel. This means that these young
women may pick up sexual behaviours at a much earlier age from the internet as well as from
international travellers who engage in sex tourism. Prostitution by children and young adults is
also on the increase and this automatically increases the belief that these young women are more
exposed today. This point also explains the decrease in barriers that existed in the past (Kerrigan
et al, 2008).

Community involvement is crucial if the issue of female sexual and reproductive health is to be
tackled in a holistic manner (Regmi et al, 2008). The parents or health workers alone and
guardians cannot be burdened by this responsibility. The duty needs to be well spread out among
parties that are influential to these young women and they include older siblings, school teachers
and also religious leaders.

A multi-disciplinary approach will aid in elaborating the key elements of sexual and reproductive
health in an understandable manner. In school, teachers can help by explaining the biological

aspect. Behaviour can be handled by the parents and religious leaders while the issue of
associated diseases can be best dealt with by doctors.
Environmental variables contribute greatly to one’s awareness and exposure to issues of
sexuality and reproductive health. These young women do not live in a vacuum but rather in a
dynamic environment where they are at risk of being exposed to misleading information as well
as infections. For this reason, it is crucial that their immediate home, school and social
environment are considered prior to any intervention measures.

The precede-proceed framework is a tool that health workers can use to adequately plan and
implement their intervention initiatives since it prescribes for them a systematic process of
working (Green and Kreuter, 1992).

Dhar, J., Griffiths, C. A., Cassell, J. A., Sutcliffe, L., Brook, G. M., & Mercer, C. H. 2010. How
and why do South Asians attend GUM clinics? Evidence from contrasting GUM clinics
across England. Sexually transmitted infections, 86(5), 366-370.
Green, L. W., & Kreuter, M. W. 1992. CDC’s planned approach to community health as an
application of PRECEED and an inspiration for PROCEED. Journal of Health
Education, 23(3), 140-147.
Kerrigan, D., Telles, P., Torres, H., Overs, C., & Castle, C. 2008. Community development and
HIV/STI-related vulnerability among female sex workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Health education research, 23(1), 137-145.
Regmi, P., Simkhada, P., & van Teijlingen, E. 2008. Sexual and reproductive health status
among young peoples in Nepal: opportunities and barriers for sexual health education and
services utilization. Kathmandu University Medical Journal, 6(2 (Iss), 1-5.
Roberts, J. H., Sanders, T., & Wass, V. 2008. Students’ perceptions of race, ethnicity and culture
at two UK medical schools: a qualitative study. Medical education, 42(1), 45-52.
Rosenstock, I. M., Strecher, V. J., & Becker, M. H. 1988. Social learning theory and the health
belief model. Health Education & Behavior, 15(2), 175-183.
UNESCO, 2012.South Asian countries and cultures


A community-based Health Intervention


Definition of sexual and reproductive health-
(WHO, 2006)

Barriers that prevent sexual and reproductive
health- (Wellings, Mitchell & Collumbien, 2012)

Importance- (WHO, 1992)




National Office of Statistics (2010)

32,552 girls aged 15-17 got pregnant in England,

6,256 girls aged 13-15 got pregnant

The Health Protection Agency (2010)

1,749 instances of gonorrhoea in young women.

10,101 instances of genital warts in young women.

14,988 cases of Chlamydia in young women.

3,388 cases of genital herpes in young women.


Chewning, Mosena, Wilson, Erdman, Potthoff,
Murphy and Kuhnen (1999)-reducing pregnancy rates
among young women.

Gold, Wolford, Smith and Parker (2004)-promoting

Low, Connell, McKevitt and Baggili
(2003)-promoting testing of gonorrhoea and

vanDevanter (cited in Simkhada, Teijlingen, Yakubu,
Mandava, Bhattacharya, Eboh & Pitchforth,
2006)-increasing access to sexual health care services.


Kocken, Voorham, Brandsma and Swart (2001)
implementation of a community based health

Martijn, de Vries and Voorham (2004)-
increasing the effectiveness of interventions
targeting youths from ethnic minorities.

Shoveller, Chabot, Soon and Levine (2004)-
barriers impeding sexual and reproductive health


South Asian countries and cultures- The United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (2012)

Dhar, Griffiths, Cassell, Sutcliffe, Brook and
Mercer (2010)- lack of sexual awareness

Roberts (2008)- cultural issues related to the lack
of awareness


Encouraging women’s access to reproductive and
sexual health information and advise

Health Belief Model- Rosenstock, Strecher, & Becker

Increase perceived susceptibility

Decreasing Barriers

Community involvement

Precede/Proceed framework-Developed By Green
and Kreuter (1991)


A multi-disciplinary approach

Accounting for the interaction between
individuals and their environment

Highlighting the importance of community


Quasi-experimental design

Self-reported questionnaires aimed at assessing
sexual and reproductive health awareness

Baseline and follow-up surveys

The independent variable- group allocation

The dependent variable- survey scores


South Asian women aged 13-25

A voluntary sample

200-250 participants


Self-reported questionnaires

Information booklets



Baseline Surveys

Development of information booklet

Distribution of information Booklet

Follow-up Survey



Production of booklet (e.g. 6 pounds each)

Staff distributing booklets ( e.g. 20 pounds each)

Paying translators (e.g. 25 pounds each)



A community advisory board


Obtaining permission forms


Intervention community compared with a
community with no intervention

Self-reported questionnaires

One-way analysis of variance