Interview with Emma, 15, White British, working class, Roman Catholic. Women, Risk and AIDS project, Manchester ,1989. Anonymised version including fieldnotes (Ref: MYC05)
datasetposted on 04.03.2020 by Rachel Thomson
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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 15 year old school student (Emma) in Manchester. Two of her friends later join the interview and take part in the conversation. Much of the interview focuses on Emma’s close and long term friendships with a group of 6/7 girls, which are part of a wider web of family relationships, sexual relationships and friendships. The ‘gang’ of girls often get into trouble and she describes getting suspended from school several times and an incident on the streets which led to her being charged with affray. They go out to pubs together and spend time at the youth club. Describes two important sexual relationships. First was with a 19 year old that she met in another town whilst staying with her cousin. This was her first sexual relationship. Before this she had ‘been out with loads of lads’ but only kissed them. One month after she had sex with her boyfriend he finished with her, for no apparent reason, which left her feeling really upset. She subsequently had a relationship with her friends brother. She had sex with him but kept the relationship a secret from her friends. He started going out with someone else, which really upset her and they finished. Made him use a condom as she was worried about being pregnant. Had previously thought she was pregnant and done a (negative) test with a friend. She has not enjoyed having sex and resolves not to have sex again until she is 18. Also describes a relationship with a 26/27 year old. They didn’t have sex but wrote ‘dirty’ letters to each other which her mum found. Describes getting information about HIV and AIDS from a leaflet at school and from the television, but has no opportunities to discuss the information or ask questions. Another girl (KELLY) joins the interview. They talk about relationships where there is an age gap of 4-5 years, why girls go out with boys when the relationships aren’t always that satisfying, the fact that men often don’t take responsibility for contraception. Discuss Emma’s previous relationship with KELLY’s brother - who denies that they had sex, which they see as a way of him protecting her. Another friend joins the interview and they all talk about a 13 year old they know who has had sex with three men and is ridiculed for this. They all think what she has done is wrong. The interview concludes with one girl stating: ‘all lads are bastards’.