Money, Gifts, and Sex: Parental and Peer Group Influence on Adolescent Transactional Sexual Relationships in Southeastern Ghana

Ashley E. Frost, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
Jeffrey Bingenheimer, George Washington University

This paper uses a mixed-methods approach to explore how parents and peer groups influence adolescent transactional sexual relationships in Ghana. We use 12 focus group discussions with adolescent girls and boys and parents of adolescents in two peri-urban communities in southeastern Ghana to explore how peer groups influence male and female participation in transactional sex. We also identify a wide range of parental attitudes toward adolescent transactional sex and determine that while some parenting practices may discourage these relationships, other parenting approaches may intentionally or inadvertently encourage adolescents to engage in transactional sex. Additionally, using new survey data with in-school and out-of-school adolescent girls and boys and their parents in two neighboring communities, we examine the frequency of transactional sex practices among adolescents and describe the peer group and parental attitudes and social norms related to transactional sex among adolescents.

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Presented in Session 100: Adolescent Fertility and Reproductive Health in Africa