Single women’s experiences of sexual health services in Turkey: Ideology, policy practices and recommendations

Göze, Ecenaz
The virginity of single women is a valued construct in Turkish society. The current authoritarian and conservative political environment can contribute to the notion that women are allowed to experience sexuality only within the institution of marriage. This study aims to analyze the connection between educated and middle-class single women’s experiences in sexual and reproductive health services with the construction of women’s sexuality and current sexual health politics in Turkey. For this reason, semi-structured in-depth interviews are conducted with 11 married and 11 single women, along with 5 experts that work in sexual health. This research indicates that single women cannot effectively benefit from sexual and reproductive health services due to disapproval of their sexual activity as single women. Their needs can be neglected, and they can be discriminated against by health staff. Moreover, structural problems in state hospitals can negatively impact their experiences in sexual and reproductive health services. In response to those obstacles, single women provide their own strategies, such as forming information networks and increasing their sexual health knowledge in order to improve their sexual and reproductive health. According to these findings of the study, policy recommendations and new services were suggested in order to improve the sexual and reproductive health of single women.


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Citation Formats
E. Göze, “Single women’s experiences of sexual health services in Turkey: Ideology, policy practices and recommendations,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.