The aim of this paper is to examine Reproductive Health Information ( RHI) designed for communities in South Africa. The Social Construction of Reality (SCR) theory ( Berger and Luckmann, 1967) is employed as a tool of examination. This paper attempts to answer questions which emerged from the results of the study conducted by the author. The findings of this study revealed that RHI is not understood by the target community (Mbananga & Becker 2002). Also several studies conducted in the country have shown that despite high levels of knowledge (98%) about HIV/AIDS amongst community members, this knowledge does not translate to sexual behavioural change. The increase in HIV/AIDS and STDs rates in the country have been used as a proxy measure for poor translation of RHI into sexual behavioural change. Consequently, questions were asked: Why RHI is not understood by the target community? and Why this information appears to be failing in transforming sexual behaviou! r? An analysis of RHI within SCR provides three answers to these questions. Firstly, RHI is void of the everyday reality of reproductive activity, concepts and knowledge of target communities. Secondly, RHI construction focuses mainly on the nature of reproductive health problems rather than the presence of these problems. Thirdly, RHI development neglects typificactions which are progressively anonymous in the "here and now" (moral values) daily discourse and yet acceptability and utilisation is defined and scrutinised within their parameters.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A critical analysis of reproductive health information in South Africa

Nolwazi Mbananga   Medical Resrach Council

The aim of this paper is to examine Reproductive Health Information ( RHI) designed for communities in South Africa. The Social Construction of Reality (SCR) theory ( Berger and Luckmann, 1967) is employed as a tool of examination. This paper attempts to answer questions which emerged from the results of the study conducted by the author. The findings of this study revealed that RHI is not understood by the target community (Mbananga & Becker 2002). Also several studies conducted in the country have shown that despite high levels of knowledge (98%) about HIV/AIDS amongst community members, this knowledge does not translate to sexual behavioural change. The increase in HIV/AIDS and STDs rates in the country have been used as a proxy measure for poor translation of RHI into sexual behavioural change. Consequently, questions were asked: Why RHI is not understood by the target community? and Why this information appears to be failing in transforming sexual behaviou! r? An analysis of RHI within SCR provides three answers to these questions. Firstly, RHI is void of the everyday reality of reproductive activity, concepts and knowledge of target communities. Secondly, RHI construction focuses mainly on the nature of reproductive health problems rather than the presence of these problems. Thirdly, RHI development neglects typificactions which are progressively anonymous in the "here and now" (moral values) daily discourse and yet acceptability and utilisation is defined and scrutinised within their parameters.

[PDF 65.58 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 65.58 kB)

BACK TO TOP