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'Walkin' about at night': The background to teenage pregnancy in a remote Aboriginal community

Journal Article


Abstract


  • In Australia, Indigenous young women are more likely to become pregnant while in their teens than non-Indigenous young women. Factors such as poverty, educational outcomes and unemployment play a major role; however, there is little understanding of the attitudes of young women themselves with regards to pregnancy. This paper explores young women's decisions regarding their sexual relationships and pregnancy in a remote Australian Aboriginal community, called River Town. It focuses on young women's motivations to pursue sexual relationships and the information about sex and male behaviour to women that informs their decision-making. 'Walkin' about at night' is the term that River Town residents use to describe the nocturnal activities of adolescent females. The focus of this activity is for a young woman to find and maintain a relationship with a boy. Although it is considered by the young women to be one of the most exciting parts of their lives, it carries with it the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Young women are very aware of the first of these risks, if not the second, as teenage pregnancy is the norm in the community. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Senior, K. A., & Chenhall, R. D. (2008). 'Walkin' about at night': The background to teenage pregnancy in a remote Aboriginal community. Journal of Youth Studies, 11(3), 269-281. doi:10.1080/13676260801946449

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-45849120604

Start Page


  • 269

End Page


  • 281

Volume


  • 11

Issue


  • 3

Abstract


  • In Australia, Indigenous young women are more likely to become pregnant while in their teens than non-Indigenous young women. Factors such as poverty, educational outcomes and unemployment play a major role; however, there is little understanding of the attitudes of young women themselves with regards to pregnancy. This paper explores young women's decisions regarding their sexual relationships and pregnancy in a remote Australian Aboriginal community, called River Town. It focuses on young women's motivations to pursue sexual relationships and the information about sex and male behaviour to women that informs their decision-making. 'Walkin' about at night' is the term that River Town residents use to describe the nocturnal activities of adolescent females. The focus of this activity is for a young woman to find and maintain a relationship with a boy. Although it is considered by the young women to be one of the most exciting parts of their lives, it carries with it the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Young women are very aware of the first of these risks, if not the second, as teenage pregnancy is the norm in the community. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Senior, K. A., & Chenhall, R. D. (2008). 'Walkin' about at night': The background to teenage pregnancy in a remote Aboriginal community. Journal of Youth Studies, 11(3), 269-281. doi:10.1080/13676260801946449

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-45849120604

Start Page


  • 269

End Page


  • 281

Volume


  • 11

Issue


  • 3