Students’ knowledge of the use of herbs and other agents as preparation for sexual intercourse Academic Article uri icon


  • Interest is growing in the use of herbal and other agents as a preparation for sexual intercourse. Concern has been expressed that such traditional practices, which are widespread in central and southern Africa, may increase women's risks of cervical cancer and infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. We examined the knowledge and beliefs associated with these practices in a sample of educated young men and women in Zimbabwe. We found that there was widespread knowledge of the use of herbs as a preparation for sex and that the purpose of the practice was to enhance men's sexual experience. Both men and women indicated ambivalent attitudes toward the practice; an interesting pattern of actual and perceived expectations was found. The need for preventive health education concerning these practices is discussed.

publication date

  • March 1994