Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Sexuality and Well-Being of Pakistani-Descent Female Adolescents Living in Canada: Perceptions and Recommendations

Version 1 : Received: 28 March 2022 / Approved: 4 April 2022 / Online: 4 April 2022 (10:30:02 CEST)

How to cite: Punjani, N.; Hirani, S.; Mumtaz, Z.; Jackson, M.; Papathanassoglou, E.; Hegadoren, K. Sexuality and Well-Being of Pakistani-Descent Female Adolescents Living in Canada: Perceptions and Recommendations. Preprints 2022, 2022040012 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202204.0012.v1). Punjani, N.; Hirani, S.; Mumtaz, Z.; Jackson, M.; Papathanassoglou, E.; Hegadoren, K. Sexuality and Well-Being of Pakistani-Descent Female Adolescents Living in Canada: Perceptions and Recommendations. Preprints 2022, 2022040012 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202204.0012.v1).

Abstract

The sexual health needs of female immigrant adolescents in Canada have been largely unmet and have increased in magnitude over the last few years. Evidence suggests that immigrant adolescents lack sexual and reproductive health knowledge and use fewer sexual health-related services and sex education resources than do non-immigrant youth. In Pakistani immigrant adolescents, this difference appears to be associated with socio-cultural and religious practices. This paper aims to describe how first-or-second generation Pakistani-descent female adolescents, living in Canada, describe their perspectives on developing sexuality and well-being. In addition, this paper explicates female adolescents’ perceptions of their needs to support their sexuality while going through the adolescence stage. Using a qualitative interpretive descriptive design, individual interviews were conducted in combination with drawing timelines. A purposive sample of 21 female adolescents who were first- or second-generation Pakistani-descent was obtained. A thematic analysis approach was used for data analysis. Findings suggest that immigrant female adolescents encounter mental health concerns as a result of confusing messages they received from their parents related to sexuality. Also, discrimination, exclusion from sex education classes, and lack of knowledge on sexual health can result in social exclusion, avoidance of health care, and poor mental health outcomes such as depression and anxiety. These participants related experiences are potentially contributed by the lack of communication with parents about sexuality and lack of health care providers who can understand and speak to their needs and realities as immigrant individuals. Female adolescents expressed their need to break the silence around the topic of sexuality, to have a non-judgemental and blame-free attitude from adults, and for open, honest, and stigma-free conversations. This study provides preliminary qualitative evidence of the interplay between experiences of developing sexuality and overall well-being, particularly psychological wellbeing in female adolescent immigrants. It is crucial to involve, listen to, and incorporate adolescent girls’ voices when planning and implementing interventions to support healthy sexuality among immigrant adolescents.

Keywords

Adolescent girls; Immigrant; Sexuality; Girls Voices; Well-being; Psychological Health; Pakistani

Subject

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Sociology

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