Material deprivation and unemployment affect coercive sex among young people in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi: A multi-level approach

Health Place. 2015 May:33:90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


We explore relations among material deprivation (measured by insufficient housing, food insecurity and poor healthcare access), socio-economic status (employment, income and education) and coercive sex. A binary logistic multi-level model is used in the estimation of data from a survey of 1071 young people aged 18-23 years, undertaken between June and July 2013, in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi. For young men, unemployment was associated with coercive sex (odds ratio [OR]=1.77, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-3.21) while material deprivation (OR=1.34, 95% CI: 0.75-2.39) was not. Young women in materially deprived households were more likely to report coercive sex (OR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.07-2.22) than in non-materially deprived households. Analysis of local indicators of deprivation is critical to inform the development of effective strategies to reduce coercive sex in urban slums in Malawi.

Keywords: Coercive sex; Material deprivation; Unemployment; Urban slums; Young people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malawi
  • Male
  • Maternal Deprivation*
  • Poverty / psychology*
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment / psychology*
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult