Interview with Lisa, 18 - 19, White British, lower middle class, Fundamental Christian. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1990. Anonymised version including fieldnotes (Ref: BT14)
datasetposted on 04.03.2020, 11:06 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 Lisa, who had moved from Belfast to Manchester. She has had a religious, Catholic (Protestant) upbringing, and her dad is a minister. Lisa had a good, open relationship with her dad, but struggles to connect with her mum. She enjoys her church community, and though she holds Catholic views she has quite a liberal attitude towards her religion, especially regarding sexuality and marriage, though she can find her religion restrictive at times. She was sexually abused by an uncle when she was younger, which has impacted her views and confidence around her sexuality and she feels some shame around, but she is currently in a very supportive and understanding relationship. Lisa had had sexual intercourse with her current partner and they now used condoms, but had been too embarrassed to purchase them in the early stages of their sexual relationship.She does not want to take the pill, as she is worried about the effect it may have on her moods and health. There was lots of pressure at school to not be a virgin, but Lisa feels she gained respect, especially from her male peers, for upholding her religious values around virginity. Female sexual pleasure was acknowledged among her peers, but not understood in practice - it was not part of their sex education curriculum, and she learnt about pleasure through her current partner, who had been told my his father. She did not have any sex education while in Northern Ireland, but has had what she believes is good sex education at her secondary school in Manchester, covering pregnancy, conception and contraception - her (male) teacher was a bit nervous, but was happy to answer and questions students may have had. AIDS was not covered in her formal sex education, and she learnt about it through friends and public health campaigns in the media. She feels fairly informed about AIDS transmission, and thinks it is important for young people to learn about the risks and would still like more, consistent information. She feels that those who are at highest risks of contracting AIDS are 'People like prostitutes or people like that and people who sleep around a lot and don't use condoms'.