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Gaceta Médica Boliviana

Print version ISSN 1012-2966On-line version ISSN 2227-3662


ARIAS LOPEZ, Liseth Lourdes. Power, social and gender norms in sexual and reproductive health in early adolescents . Gac Med Bol [online]. 2021, vol.44, n.1, pp.50-56. ISSN 1012-2966.

The social and gender norms that influence in the health behavior and well-being of people and that are socially accepted are important in the Sexual and Reproductive Health of adolescents. Power allows to understand better how these norms are developed and maintained. For this analysis, we used the “Conceptual framework of social, gender and power norms of Pulerwitz, et al.”. Objectives: the purpose of this research is to explore how power is embedded in social and gender norms learned during early adolescence and to identify how “power-driven” norms influence as risk or protective behaviors. Methods: qualitative design, with in-depth semi-structured interviews between 30 male and female adolescents from 10 to 14 years old, who study at the “Gerardo Vargas Vidal” school. The interviews were transcribed and uploaded to the Atlas.ti Program. An ethnographic design was used, within the interpretive paradigm. Results: the analysis revealed that adolescents develop beliefs and adopt behaviors according to what they learn and perceive in the “search for power.” These behaviors are shaped and directed by the prevailing social and gender norms in the cultural context of Cochabamba. Discussion and Conclusions: the power dynamics involved in social and gender norms in Cochabamba are different for male and female adolescents, disadvantaging girls. Previous studies demonstrated the importance of individual, resource, social, and institutional domains on adolescent power development.

Keywords : psychological power; adolescent behavior; gender identity.

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