Understanding Early Pregnancies: Sociocultural Factors of Teenage Childbearing in Gaborone, Botswana

Tebo Kgosiemang, Pnina Motzafi-Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The potential risk of being exposed to HIV/AIDS has structured the ways teenage or out-of-wedlock pregnancies are studied and treated in Botswana. We used feminist ethnographic research methods which focus on the narratives of young women and their social networks to understand this phenomenon. Looking at the issue from the adolescent girls’ perspective reveals that such pregnancies have always existed, and their continued existence can be attributed to local sociocultural perceptions of fertility, pregnancy, and marriage. We show that the young mothers continue with their lives without being labeled as social outcasts and that they are supported by family networks. Social policies intended to provide health services need to restructure those services based on a culturally sensitive model outlined in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2641-2652
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Africa
  • adolescent girls and young women
  • ethnography
  • pregnancy
  • sexual reproductive health
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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