Interview with Jessica, 18 - 19, White British, working class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Original version including fieldnotes (Ref: NMC03)

2020-03-04T11:10:24Z (GMT) by Rachel Thomson
This interview is part of the Women, Risk and Aids Project (1989-90) archive which was created as part of the Reanimating Data Project (2018-20).

Original transcript of an interview with Jessica, who is at college and working towards a career in the police force. She does not see this as a subversion of traditional gender roles, but would have done twenty years earlier. She received no formal Sex Education at her comprehensive, mixed-sex secondary school, and has relied on 'age-appropriate', largely biological information from her parents. She did not received any formal education on AIDS, and what she does know has been learnt from media campaigns and adverts, which she feels were informative. She originally thought AIDS was reserved for gay men, but has had her homophobia and stigma challenged through PSCE in college. She thinks those at highest risk of AIDS are those who are promiscuous and engage in one-night stands and casual sexual encounters. Jessica had not realised that condoms were an effective method of promoting and practicing safe-sex that protects from transmitting AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Her parents had told her about the pill as a form of contraception. Jessica would like to wait until she is married or in love before having sex, and does not feel she is ready yet, but does acknowledge her right to pleasure within a (hetero)- sexual relationship. She likes the idea of security that might come with marriage. She is in a fairly serious heterosexual relationship at the moment with a 22 year old from Scotland, who has not pressured her into having sex. She does not feel there is any pressure from her peers either, as many of them are still virgins, too, but doesn't think she would succumb to pressure either.