The first sexual encounter of every individual and the circumstances under which it occurs
plays a significant role in their future behaviour. The literature is replete with studies of the
context of girls‘ first sexual encounters, including where they are forced and pressured.
Consequently, the adverse implications on girls‘ futures are also widely appreciated. Despite
this wealth of information, little effort has been made to understand whether and how similar
power dynamics may shape the sexual initiation and subsequent relationships for boys.
To understand these nuances, this thesis set out to examine the context of young males‘
sexual debut using data from Agormanya and Juapong in southeastern Ghana. The data for
this study came from the three waves of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded
longitudinal panel study (LPS), the Gendered Social Context of Adolescent HIV Risk
Behaviour. Using a mixed-methods approach integrating in-depth interviews (IDIs) with
survey data (LPS), 215 male youth were sampled for analyses. Eighteen (18) in-depth
interviews were synthesised qualitatively.
The results reveal that early age at first sexual intercourse was a common occurrence among
the young male respondents. More than half of these youth had sexual intercourse before
reaching age 16. A high prevalence of coercion at sexual debut was recorded, with almost a
third of the boys having been either forced or pressured into sexual intercourse. Specifically,
of all first sexual intercourse, 18.6% reported being pressured and 9.3% reported being
forced. In 42% of these cases, there was evidence that older females had coerced the boys.
Vulnerability to coercion at sexual debut was significantly predicted by age at sexual debut,
religion, relationship to caregiver, locality of residence, household wealth status, age
difference between respondent and first sexual partner, and respondent‘s alcohol
consumption at sexual debut. Respondents‘ accounts from the qualitative data suggested that
pressure and non-physical force were the most common forms of the coercion experienced at
sexual debut. Of the eighteen narratives, there were three rape cases involving physical force.
Perpetrators employed diverse coercive tactics on their victims including verbal insistence,
baiting with gifts, use of threats, fondling, emotional manipulation, taking advantage when
victim was intoxicated with alcohol, etc. Victims felt a range of negative psychosocial effects
after their encounter including shame, guilt, fear of STIs, regret and animosity towards
females. Victims tended not to report their experiences; the reasons for not reporting included
fear of sanctions, or of being branded as deviant. They narrated several coping strategies
including avoiding settings they perceived as risky.
This study has notable findings and implications. In summary, there is empirical evidence
that shows males are coerced at sexual debut and a substantial proportion (42% of coerced
cases) are coerced into sex by older females. Sanctions for boys victimised by older women
are very strict as a result of constrains posed by norms of masculinity, and unacceptable
deviation from gendered sexual scripts. The fact that boys can be physically stimulated or
aroused to get a penile erection does not conventionally mean they desire to have sex. The
presence of an erection should not discount the absence of consent.
The study highlights the need for definitional clarity on sexual intercourse and its implication
for data quality. Findings from this study have relevance in their contribution to the literature
on young males‘ transition into unwanted first sexual intercourse. It also has relevance for the
advancement of a framework within which related studies can be adapted to.
Edu, F (2021). Young Males Coerced Sexual Debut in Southeastern Ghana by Female Perpetrators; A Case Study of Agormanya And Juapong. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/young-males-coerced-sexual-debut-in-southeastern-ghana-by-female-perpetrators-a-case-study-of-agormanya-and-juapong
Frontiers, Edu. "Young Males Coerced Sexual Debut in Southeastern Ghana by Female Perpetrators; A Case Study of Agormanya And Juapong" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 05 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/young-males-coerced-sexual-debut-in-southeastern-ghana-by-female-perpetrators-a-case-study-of-agormanya-and-juapong . Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Young Males Coerced Sexual Debut in Southeastern Ghana by Female Perpetrators; A Case Study of Agormanya And Juapong". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 05 Apr. 2021. Web. 15 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/young-males-coerced-sexual-debut-in-southeastern-ghana-by-female-perpetrators-a-case-study-of-agormanya-and-juapong >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Young Males Coerced Sexual Debut in Southeastern Ghana by Female Perpetrators; A Case Study of Agormanya And Juapong" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 15, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/young-males-coerced-sexual-debut-in-southeastern-ghana-by-female-perpetrators-a-case-study-of-agormanya-and-juapong