Sexual and reproductive health in young men in Chile: results of a qualitative study

Obach et al.

Objective. To describe, based on the perceptions of adolescents and health service staff, the ways in which adolescent boys interact with sexual and reproductive health services, the changes perceived in this area over time, and the Espacios Amigables strategy (‘Friendly Spaces’ for adolescent health) to reach out to boys.

Methods. An ethnographic, qualitative study was conducted in Friendly Spaces for adolescent and young adult health in five municipalities belonging to Chile’s Metropolitan Region. The research methods used were semi-structured interviews (N = 38), discussion groups (N = 5), and participant observation.

Results. A masculinities perspective was [TN: “un enfoque de masculinidades”. Or simply: “Masculine perspectives were…”] felt to be missing in adolescent sexual and reproductive health care, which is perceived to be an area geared primarily toward females. Most adolescent boys perceive health services as distant and visit them only in case of emergency. Male attendance is low at sexual and reproductive health services in Friendly Spaces within primary health care centers. However, services outside these centers attract boys in larger numbers, for example, one that is exclusively devoted to providing adolescent health care and integrated services in schools.

Conclusions. Greater provision of adolescent sexual and reproductive health services does not necessarily translate into increased male access. For such an increase to occur, it is important to engage boys in addressing issues that capture their interest, bring health services closer to them, strengthen intersectoral work, and incorporate a masculinities perspectives in their care.

Idioma del artículo
Spanish
Original research