Theses (published elsewhere)

Sexual and reproductive health problems among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males

Posted on: 12 August, 2008
Issue: Vol 8 No 3, July 2008 - September 2008
Related to Sexual health Men

Adams M (2007)
Sexual and reproductive health problems among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males.
Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland
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Compared with non-Indigenous men, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men suffer from substantially more serious illnesses and early death due to problems arising from diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancers, respiratory diseases, psychological disorders, accidental injuries, violence and other causes. Despite this knowledge little is known to date about reproductive health among Indigenous men, with recent research being limited mainly to studies of sexually transmitted infections.

The aim of this research was to improve the understanding of sexual and reproductive health problems experienced by Indigenous men. A mixed method design combined qualitative inquiry (4 focus groups and 18 in-depth interviews) and quantitative survey (n=301) involving men living in remote, rural and urban communities (Tiwi Islands, Darwin and north and south-east Queensland). Survey data were compared with recently published self-reports from 5990 randomly selected men aged over 40 years in Australia (Holden et al., 2005, The Lancet, 366, 218-224). Findings revealed that most Indigenous men were silent about reproductive health but reported symptoms of erectile dysfunction at least as much as non-Indigenous men in other studies and were also found to have more symptoms of prostate disease than non-Indigenous men. Men’s reaction to sexual difficulties included shame, denial, substance abuse and occasionally violence. The research provides insight and depth into the issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males experiencing reproductive and sexual health difficulties. The study also highlights issues concerning the layers of silence around sexual and reproductive health of Indigenous men, including silence in the scientific establishments in health services, and in the community. Implications for education of primary healthcare workers and community-based awareness campaigns for Indigenous males are discussed.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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