Accepted Paper:

The unintended consequences of sex education: an ethnography of a development intervention in Latin America  
Erica Nelson Alexander Edmonds (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

In this ethnographic “meta-study” we consider how various social actors interpreted, responded to, and sometimes repurposed the language and practices of a multi-country adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention in Latin America.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will present an ethnography of a multi-disciplinary, adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention that included ethnographic fieldwork. Its focus is a four-year, European Commission-funded project in Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. An important goal of the project - and of the larger global field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health-- is to create more open parent to teen communication. This paper analyzes the project's efforts to foster communication and how social actors variously interpreted, responded to, and repurposed intervention language and practices. While the intervention emphasized the goal of "open communication," participants more often used the term "confianza" (trust). This norm was defined in ways that might - or might not - include revealing information about sexual activity. Questioning public health assumptions that parent teen communication on sex, in and of itself, is key to healthy sexual behaviours, this paper explores the pragmatics of communication on sex that includes silence, implied expectations, gendered conflicts, and temporally delayed knowledge.

Panel P094
Alliances, networks, and oppositions: the transnational circulation of medical reproductive technologies