Interview with Stephanie, 20, White British, lower middle class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: HHC06)

2020-03-04T11:07:52Z (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).

Anonymised transcript of an interview with Stephanie, 20, who has worked her way up within a pension's department, but aspires to travel and forge a career as an air hostess. She enjoyed college, before dropping out, but prefers the financial independence that comes with a full-time job. Stephanie's mother kicked her out of their family home last year, and her parents are currently going through divorce proceedings. She feels this has made her become more realistic and cynical towards marriage as a romantic concept and it has challenged her earlier expectations of it that she learnt through television, films and books. She expresses feminist thinking around women's traditional trajectory of child-bearing and domestic work in the home. Her and her mother are close, 'like sisters', and both are open to discussions on sex and relationships. There was some pressure at school to have had sexual intercourse, but Stephanie resisted this, largely due to the strong and open relationship she has with her mum. She does not agree with one-night stands. She has been in her current relationship for a year and a half, he is 5 years older than her and they are living together, but had some relationships when she was younger that were not as serious and were not sexual. This partner is the only one that she has had sex with, though he has had previous sexual partners. She is not too worried about his sexual history in relation to her own and feels he has been emotionally supportive in this sense, and they have discussed any potential risk of AIDS transmission via his earlier sexual partners. She considers those to be at risk of AIDS as needle-users, homosexuals and those who are promiscuous and have several sexual partners.She holds some negative views around those who 'go round sleeping with everybody', especially women, but recognises the gendered double standards that are at play here. Her view of safe sex in relation to AIDS is to use condoms and not engage in casual sex. Stephanie has used condoms in the past, but now uses the pill as her main form of contraception as it also helps to regulate her periods. She is aware of some of the side effects and potential health risks of using the pill, but would rather these risks than the potential pain of having a coil or cap inserted. She feels there is some stigma around visiting a Family Planning Clinic.