n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Exploring anomalies in the values and sexual behaviour of Anglican youth

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



A discrepancy between knowledge, values and sexual behaviour of Anglican youth aged 18 to 24 years was found in a baseline study in South Africa. This finding suggests that Anglican youth engage in sexual activities that run contrary to their supposed knowledge and values. They are seemingly not able to convert religious belief and factual knowledge into appropriate behaviour. In this article we will address why this is the case. The reasons for inappropriate behaviour despite having sufficient knowledge will be discussed based on the results from the baseline study. The four factors that may explain the gap between values and behaviour among Anglican youth are presented. These factors are institutional differentiation, legitimacy, type of church and contextual factors. In addressing these factors churches could gain information to contribute to being more effective in influencing behaviour and could consequently contribute to decreasing HIV infection rates.

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