Sexual & Reproductive Health of Dutch Afro-Caribbean Women: An Analysis of Culture, Reproductive Statistics and Black Female Sexuality
The purpose of my study is to examine the mainstream, hypersexualized discourse surrounding the high prevalence of STIs and teen pregnancies among Dutch Afro-Caribbean women (specifically, Surinamese and Antillean women of African descent) in the Netherlands, a country with relatively low reproductive statistics. Utilizing methodological elements of oral history and feminist epistemology, I acquired data through semi-structured interviews with Dutch Afro-Caribbean mothers and daughters, and also sexual health professionals. Based on the personal experiences of my interviewees, I provide a counter narrative to the mainstream discourse and an in-depth analysis of how culture influences Dutch Afro-Caribbean women’s sexual behavior. Moreover, I briefly investigate the degree of cultural sensitivity in the country’s sexual health programs. In this study, I will argue that positive, sustainable changes need to be made both within the target community and the public institutions in the following areas, which include: breaking down the presence of the sex taboo and gender roles, increasing the importance of safe sex negotiation, relationship competency, and sexual empowerment, and lastly acknowledging the ramifications of colonialism, sexism and racism within the Dutch sexual health landscape.