Enabling Communication about Gender Equality, Sex and Sexuality for Unaccompanied Refugee Children : To Evade Antagonism concerning Swedes’ Right to be Equals, Sexual and Gay by Accepting and Acknowledging Cultural Dissimilarities

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling

Abstract:

This study researches how communication provided by supervisors working in homes for unaccompanied refugee children about gender equality, sex and sexuality should be conducted and executed for children acclimating to Sweden. This studied topic was founded in the desire expressed by RFSU to demand sexual education for unaccompanied refugee children coming to Sweden. This desire was expressed after unaccompanied refugee boys were discovered to have sexually abused and harassed a number of girls during a youth festival in Stockholm. RFSU, and the president for the Unaccompanied Children’s Union in Sweden, brought to the attention that the cultural backgrounds URC commonly have differ from the Swedish culture concerning gender equality and sexuality. Thus, the issue with communication about gender equality, sex and sexuality intended for unaccompanied refugee children is that it needs to be befitting and susceptible to them according to their usual and previous context. 

The method used in this study was to implement a qualitative research method of phenomenological nature. Data were mainly accrued through a questionnaire that was answered by supervisors that currently work with unaccompanied refugee children. These answers provided with an understanding, together with the compiled frame of reference, of how to befittingly and susceptibly communicate about gender equality, sex and sexuality with unaccompanied refugee children acclimating to Sweden. Keep in mind, not all unaccompanied refugee children who come to Sweden are in fact refugees. However, to distinguish these children who come from other countries from other children in general, the choice was made to continue calling them unaccompanied refugee children throughout this study.   

The conclusions drawn from the result of this study ended up being four. The first is that not all unaccompanied refugee children are alike, and can therefore not be seen as one identical target group. The second is that unaccompanied refugee children’s previous cultural and religious contexts, with their previous experiences about gender equality, sex and sexuality, need to be considered, along with the suitability of how to execute such information. The third conclusion is to naturally, and clearly, discuss and debate on a regular basis with a suitable supervisor. The fourth is that media, for instance pornography, can provide misguided and biased information. The practical recommendations that these conclusions resulted in are also four, and are as follows; 1) to create multiple communication materials as to satisfy most children’s needs and attitudes, 2) to learn about URC’s previous cultural and religious contexts, and their previous experiences, and have different suitable information sessions based on the needed level of privacy, 3) to discuss and debate gender equality, sex and sexuality on a regular basis in a natural setting through a suitable supervisor, and 4) to include media, especially pornography, when discussing and debating about gender equality, sex and sexuality. 

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