Exploring the sexual lives and sexual health of transnational Filipino youth in southwestern British Columbia, Canada




Serpa-Francoeur, Jenny Rose

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This research addresses how transnational Filipino youth living in southwestern British Columbia negotiate their sexual lives and sexual health decisions, and how they do so within the context of individual, familial, and community dynamics. The research explores how youth contest and negotiate notions of sexuality that are discursively constructed and constituted through familial expectations, religious ideals, peer expectations and pressure, societal expectations, and sexual education curricula. Sexual subjectivities are shaped by the social and geographic locations individuals inhabit. My interviews with youth explored dynamic ways in which these youth enacted their sexual lives in the context of their position as transnational Filipino youth, and in turn how their positions as transnational Filipino youth interacted with and impacted their sexual subjectivities. I argue that while opinions and expectations of friends and family, as well as cultural norms and religious expectations impact youth's sexual subjectivities, youth nonetheless perceive themselves as the primary decision-makers in their sexual lives. This research shows dynamic ways in which youth enact their agency and control their sexual decisions and sexual lives. This research was conducted between August 2016 and March 2017 in southwest British Columbia (BC) in two main locations, the Southern Vancouver Island (SVI) region and the Vancouver/Greater Vancouver Area (GVA). I conducted a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews and engaged in informal personal engagement activities (i.e. "deep hanging out") with ten transnational Filipino youth between the ages of 19 and 25 who live and study at the post-secondary level in SVI. I also conducted interviews with adult community members, experts in the sexual health field, scholars working with Filipino youth, and staff from migrant youth organizations in SVI and the GVA.



Agency, British Columbia, Canada, Culture, Ethnography, Family Dynamics, Filipino, Filipino-Canadian, Migration, Religion, Sex, Sexual Health, Sexual Lives, Sexuality, Subjectivity, Transnational, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Young Adults, Youth