Culture is shared patterns of behaviour, interactions, cognitive contracts and understandings that are learned through socialisation. Culture can also be defined as a collection of learned and easily identified beliefs and practices shared by groups of people, which guides their decisions, thinking and actions in a patterned way.  

Culture is a set of customs, traditions and values of a society or community such as ethnic group or nation. Culture also includes religion, social habits, beliefs, music and the arts.

Common Cultural Practices that may play a role in sexual and reproductive behavior worldwide are indicated as follows:-

  • Motherhood sexual abstinence: Culture recommends husbands not to have intercourse with their wives during pregnancy and breastfeeding where men end up having extramarital affairs.
  • Virgin myth: a belief that sex with a young girl including children and babies cures HIV/AIDS
  • Polygamy: This is still practiced in many countries which plays a role in the spread of STI and HIV.
  • Practice of never looking at adults in the face or saying no to an adult: In many African countries this culture allows the male adults to molest young women because she’s unable to say no.

These and many other cultures that are still practised in different parts of the world play a major role on SRH and also put a negative impact on women.