Generational differences in male sexuality that may affect Zimbabwean women's risk for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS

  • BA Olayinka
  • L Alexander
  • MT Mbizvo
  • L Gibney


Objective: To determine generational differences in male sexuality, which could predispose men’s female sexual partners to STDs/HlV.
Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Harare, Zimbabwe.
Subjects: Three hundred and ninety seven male adults aged eighteen years and above. Main outcome measures: Number of sexual partners, condom use, likelihood of sharing information on HIV status with wife or with other sexual partners, preference for women with dry vaginas prior to sex and discussion about sexual satisfaction with wife or with girl
Results: Fewer men in the 27-39 year age group when compared to men aged 18-26 years (22.2% versus 28.9%) had two or more sexual partners. The greatest proportion of ever condom users were men aged 27-39 years, but this proportion was not significantly different
from the proportion of ever condom users aged 18-26 years (76.5% versus 69.5%; Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.42, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 0.81-2.51). Men aged > 40 years (43.8%, OR = 0.34, 95% CI 0.20-0.84) were significantly fewer than men aged 18-26 years in ever use of condoms. In the event that they contracted HIV, 79.5%, 82.4 % and 85.9% of men aged 18-26, 27-39 and 40 years and above respectively indicated that they would disclose their HIV
status to their wives. On the other hand, men aged 18-26 years (56.8%), 27-39 years (54.0%) and > 40 years (53.1%) indicated that they would disclose their HIV status to girl friends or other sexual partners. Significantly, more men aged 40 years (OR= 2.23; 95% CI 1.19-4.18) and 27-39 years (OR = 1.82; 95% CI 1.00-3.32) in comparison to 18-26 year old men indicated their preference for women with dry vaginas prior to sex. The greatest proportion of men
who discussed sexual satisfaction with their wives (85.7%) and girl friends or other sexual partners (23.5%) were aged 27-39 years.
Conclusion: It is recommended that public health and behavioural scientists in Zimbabwe devote more time to understanding the intricacies of male sexual behaviour at different stages of life. This would provide the important insight needed to develop effective targeted
interventions to reduce the spread of STDs/HIV in Zimbabwe.

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eISSN: 0012-835X