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Sexuality in multicultural Portugal – A cross-cultural survey of sexual and reproductive health indicators between Portuguese, Brazilians, Cape Verdeans, Angolans, Guineans and Sao Tomeans living in Portugal

Barroso, A1; Cardoso, J2; Pascoal, PM1

1: Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal; 2: Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz

Portugal has a history of emigration and immigration. Since the 1970’s, people from Portuguese Speaking African Countries as well as Brazil have immigrated to Portugal. Health professionals are not educated to provide health care to people from different cultures that face several cultural obstacles. Despite Portugal’s multiculturalism, few studies have been done to understand if there are differences about sexual and reproductive health between Portuguese people and immigrants that justify a culturally sensitive approach from health care professionals.

Objective: We aim to explore if there are differences regarding sexual and reproductive health indicators such as contraceptive methods, voluntary termination of pregnancy, masturbation, paid sex, history of sexual problems, female sexual mutilation and circumcision among the Portuguese and immigrants living in Portugal.

Material and Method(s): This is a cross-sectional descriptive-correlational exploratory quantitative study. Across the non-probabilistic sampling, we gathered 935 participants (50.5% men’s and 49.5% women’s), aged 18-72 years, living in Portugal (21.6% Portuguese, 18.3% Brazilians, 13.8% Angolans, 19.4% Cape Verdeans, 15.5% Guineans and 11.4% Sao Tomeans), mainly from the metropolitan area of Lisbon. We used a questionnaire to collect socio-demographic data as well as information about sexual and reproductive health indicators. In order to compare groups non-parametric methods were used (e.g., Kruskall-Wallis test) and Bonferroni correction was considered to establish significance.

Result(s): The preliminary results showed that there are some significant differences between the participants of different countries in what concerns condom use; masturbation frequency; history of pain during vaginal penetration; lack of sexual desire; delayed ejaculation or absence of ejaculation; and practice of female genital mutilation and circumcision.

Conclusion(s): Due to the differences found, we advocate for an increase in the cultural specific knowledge of sexuality by health professionals. We also believe sexual health promotion programs need to be adapted to acknowledge and integrate cultural differences. However, qualitative studies must be done to better understand the significations and behaviors related to sexual health of each country.


Work supported by industry: no.

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