Men’s sexual health: understanding the individual and community perspectives of South Asian men in Brent and Leicester, United Kingdom.

Shaikh, Mohammed (2018) Men’s sexual health: understanding the individual and community perspectives of South Asian men in Brent and Leicester, United Kingdom. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Background: South Asian communities are increasing in the UK and there is a significant growth of this population from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses. In Brent and Leicester more than 30% of the population are from a South Asian background. South Asian men make a significant proportion of this population (Office for National Statistics (2012). In general men’s health is under-researched and there is little research that focuses on the health of men from ethnic minorities in the UK. The sexual health of men is well researched particularly in the field of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) but this largely focuses on men who have sex with men and there is little UK research that examines the issues surrounding the sexual health of men in the South Asian community. This thesis focuses on producing a better understanding of South Asian men’s perspectives on sexual health through participatory research and dialogue. Methods: A South Asian men’s participatory action research group (PAR) was established to collectively explore South Asian men’s sexual health in Brent; followed by ten semi-structured and five in-depth one-to-one interviews with South Asian men in Leicester. The data from the three phases was thematically analysed using a qualitative descriptive method and key themes identified in relation to the perspectives of South Asian men towards sexual health. . Findings: This study uncovered deep seated cultural and religious issues that are important for those working in the field of men’s sexual health to understand. The themes emerging from the data highlighted that talking about sexual health carries connotations of stigma and shame that are largely associated with non-acceptance 4 of homosexuality and what South Asian communities consider to be western or ‘white’ liberal culture. Generational differences and the strong influence of first generation immigrants and religious leaders emphasised the theme of shame and stigma. Misconceptions about what is meant by sexual health were evident, with participants focusing on infection and promiscuity rather than health and suggesting that culturally sensitive information was lacking. Themes focused on how services could be more accessible and culturally acceptable also focused on the need to ‘be private and discreet’ and to some degree ‘hidden’ to prevent stigma and shame. Conclusion: South Asian men’s sexual health cannot be understood without understanding the wider local South Asian community which encompasses religious and cultural influences which impact South Asian men’s perspectives on sexual health. These perspectives have been shaped by cultural and geographic origins, patterns of migration, religious and family expectations, generational and marital status. These issues result in a lack of engagement amongst South Asian men and sexual health services. The findings of this study suggest that services should target South Asian men at an individual, cultural community and service level to build trust and provide services that are accessible and culturally acceptable. There is also a need to create greater understanding about the nature of sexual health and align it with men’s health issues more generally. Establishing forums and creating information sources that facilitate open discussion among men in South Asian communities to de-stigmatise sexual health would also assist in reducing stigma.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Medicine and health
Depositing User: Users 3908 not found.
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 13:03
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:26


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