Young Women, Sex and Choices: a study of young motherhood in Haringey

Research Team: Lesley Hoggart with Sara Nasserzadeh and Michael Shamesh

This project was set up to look at the sexual behaviour and decision-making processes of young women in Haringey. Young women were asked about their sexual experiences, concerns and needs; their views on the sexual health services available locally, and their opinions on what might influence their own sexual behaviour and decisions. The project also examined the support services for young mothers currently available and young women’s views of these. Individual interviews were undertaken with young women (predominantly mothers) and service providers locally. Focus groups were held in a number of schools.

The study’s three main objectives were: first, to improve understanding of what makes some young women engage in unprotected sexual intercourse; second, what then influences some of these to access emergency contraception; third, what influences decisions about whether or not to terminate confirmed pregnancies. Our focus was on the relationship between social and cultural contexts and young women’s individual decisions. The results of this project should help inform the future development of the local Teenage Pregnancy strategy.

Young Women, Sex and Choices: a study of young motherhood in Haringey