South Asian Canadian Young Adults’ Culture and Sexual Health




Swaich, Anmol

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Second-generation South Asian Canadian young adults typically report more sexual conservatism than their peers of other ethnic backgrounds. However, we are unsure of whether this is reflective of something inherent to South Asian ethnic culture or more sexuality-specific beliefs. The current study aimed to expand our understanding about the role of cultural values and restrictive sexual beliefs, specifically sexual double standard and rape myth endorsement, in South Asian Canadian young adults’ psychosocial sexual health. The sexual double standard and rape myths are both global phenomena that have been linked to conservative sexual attitudes. The psychosocial sexual health outcomes examined in the current study were sexual subjectivity and sexual communication self-efficacy. Participants were recruited through social media advertisements and reaching out to relevant organizations across Canada. Participants completed a 15-minute survey and the resulting data was analyzed in RStudio. The final sample (N = 107) ranged from 18 - 29 years old (M = 23.60, SD = 2.89) and consisted of second-generation South Asian Canadians. Interesting results emerged relating to gender differences, the role of restrictive sexual beliefs and differences in ethnic cultural values. Findings suggested that the sexual double standard may be a promising area to target in future sexual health promotion efforts. Ultimately, this study highlights the nuance in South Asian Canadian young adults’ sexuality and brings to light the idea that many factors, beyond cultural values, may contribute to their sexual health.



psychosocial sexual health, South Asian Canadian, second-generation