Interview with Stacey, 20 - 21, White British, working class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Original version including fieldnotes (Ref: MAG12)
2020-03-04T11:04:22Z (GMT) by
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 Stacey, who is completing a science degree. She comes from a working class background, and has had a difficult family life, especially concerning her relationship with her mother. Her mum has quite negative attitudes towards sex and believes that it is 'all that men want women for', so there was no positive talk around sexuality and relationships at home. Stacey has had a couple of boyfriends, but is now engaged to her male partner who she met in sixth form - she finds it difficult to trust him, due to her home life and past relationships. A previous partner was an alcoholic who tried to sexually assault her. She notes that there was pressure at school to find a partner, and there was a divide between the popular crowd and those who worked hard in relation to who was considered attractive. She learnt about sex and relationships largely through teen girl and women's magazines, and had no formal sex education at school - the (male) teacher was too embarrassed, but she does remember watching one film which could be about sexual consent. She would have liked more comprehensive sex education that talked about navigating sexual relationships. There was one girl at school that had been labelled a 'slag', but Stacey still thought was a nice girl, despite her reputation and expression of sexual freedom. Stacey thinks that a lot of her friends were sexually active, but that no one openly discussed it - Stacey was quite surprised when she got to university and discovered her female friends were having casual sex and were fairly open about it. She had her first sexual debut at 18 with a boyfriend at the time, but felt she had a very passive role in this sexual relationship (though she is much more aware of her own sexual pleasure now). They used condoms, as she was worried about pregnancy. She couldn't imagine having a casual sexual relationship. Stacey didn't hear about AIDS until her first year of university, but had seen some adverts on TV, and initially thought it was reserved for drug users and gay men (especially American ones) - this was supported by her gay male landlords promiscuous sexual behaviour. She does recognise that her landlord gave her a 'distorted' view of (male) homosexuality, and does not believe that he represents all gay men. Stacey doesn't think that her or her friends are at risk and most of her friends use the pill, rather than condoms - she associates condoms with being young and juvenile. She does consider safe-sex to be sex with condoms in the context of AIDS protection, and limiting numbers of sexual partners.