Modelling Cross-Gender and Sexual Relations: Exploring the Soul Buddyz Edutainment Initiative in South Africa

Lara Cousins

Research output: Working paperAcademic


HIV/AIDS among youth is a serious problem in South Africa. Cross-gender
relations and associated constructs surrounding masculinity/femininity and
sexuality are increasingly recognized as at the heart of the issue. Growing
attention has thus been given to developing initiatives geared towards children
and very young adolescents (VYAs), aimed at addressing attitudes and
behaviours surrounding gender and sexuality. This paper explored the
representations of ‘positive’ cross-gender relations, as well as associated
constructs, in the Soul Buddyz edutainment initiative primarily geared towards
8-12 year-olds, and intended to provide “positive” role models for girls and
boys. Pertinent Soul Buddyz material was explored through methods of
narrative and frame analysis, from a position informed by social
constructionism and theoretical tenets of Michel Foucault. Findings were then
situated within a broader framework, with reference made to the formative
research undertaken for the development of Soul Buddyz, as well as other
relevant studies concerning children and youth. The overarching aim of this
paper was to raise questions in reference to HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives
dealing with cross-gender relations and associated constructs, critical reflection
upon these issues being considered as crucial within the context of the
HIV/AIDS epidemic, and for potentially strengthening prevention initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages63
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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