Interview with Alice, 19, White British, middle class, Protestant. Women, Risk and Aids Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: AMC15)
datasetposted on 04.03.2020, 11:12 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 a young woman (Alice), age 19, who moved from Barnsley to Manchester and is currently training as a beauty therapist. She lives with her mother, father and older sister, age 21, who she is close with. The sex education she received in a comprehensive school was typically biological and 'all very basic' - there was little mention of relationships or contraception. She talks about the sex education that she gained from friends and magazines, but her mother is happy to discuss 'taking precautions' in sexual relationships and told her about periods. Her parents have given her quite a lot of freedom growing up and have both been quite open about sex education. Alice had some (sexual) relationships in her mid-teens, but her current relationship, with a 23 year old male who lives in Leeds, is the first one she considers to be 'serious' and had her first sexual intercourse with this partner. She felt some pressure from her friends around having sex, but enjoyed experimenting with and exploring her sexuality in previous relationships. She has learnt about AIDS largely through public health campaigns advertised on television. In her current relationship they had been using condoms, but after a malfunction which resulted in pregnancy and subsequent abortion she is now using the pill as her main form of birth control, but is aware of the risks of HIV/AIDS transmission without barrier contraceptive methods. She does not consider herself as 'at risk', but is wary that her partner has had other sexual partners and that this may put in a riskier position. She doesn't feel there is enough consistent coverage of AIDS transmission and worried that earlier coverage did not have a big enough impact on the somewhat risky sexual behaviour of some of her peers who are engaging in casual sex without condoms