Abstract: A high percentage of Turkish and Moroccan male adolescents in the Netherlands is sexually active. At the same time, they frequently engage in risky sexual behavior, which makes them vulnerable to HIV/STDs infection. To be able to design culturally appropriate health promoting interventions, more knowledge about the factors that influence their sexual behavior is needed. Therefore, this paper reports on a qualitative study that aims to increase our understandings of the influences on Turkish and Moroccan adolescent male sexuality within a broader interest in HIV/STD prevention. Seven focus groups with 29 Moroccan and 20 Turkish boys, aged between 14 and 18 years, were conducted. Analysis of the data highlighted several factors that may hinder condom use, such as lack of knowledge, lack of perceived risk, peer norms, lack of parent-adolescent communication about sexuality, and lack of self-efficacy toward buying condoms. Results also show some significant differences between the Turkish and Moroccan study participants. Turkish adolescents are more conservative toward sexuality, they stick more strongly to cultural traditions and they have less knowledge about HIV/STDs than Moroccan adolescents. Moroccan adolescents experiment more frequently with sex. Therefore, they may be at higher risk of getting infected with HIV/STDs. The findings of our study provide a fertile starting point for designing culturally appropriate and effective health education programs in the field of safe sex promotion for ethnic minority adolescents.
Keywords: Sexual health, condom use, ethnic minorities, adolescents, HIV/STDs, focus groups