- Chemical sexualities: the use of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products by youth in South Sulawesi, Indonesia
- Reproductive health matters
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 41
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Although young people in their everyday lives consume a bewildering array of pharmaceutical, dietary and cosmetic products to self-manage their bodies, moods and sexuality, these practices are generally overlooked by sexual and reproductive health programmes. Nevertheless, this self-management can involve significant (sexual) health risks. This article draws from the initial findings of the University of Amsterdam's ChemicalYouth project. Based on interviews with 142 youths, focus group discussions and participant observation in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, we found that young people - in the domain of sexual health - turn to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to: (1) feel clean and attractive; (2) increase (sexual) stamina; (3) feel good and sexually confident; (4) counter sexual risks; and (5) for a group of transgender youths, to feminize their male bodies. How youth achieve these desires varies depending on their income and the demands of their working lives. Interestingly, the use of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics was less gendered than expected. Sexual health programmes need to widen their definitions of risk, cooperate with harm reduction programmes to provide youth with accurate information, and tailor themselves to the diverse sexual health concerns of their target groups.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.