Main Article Content
In southern Africa, multiple factors in given societal contexts motivate transactional sexual relations among women and men. The purpose of this study is to assess socio-economic and cultural factors that influence transactional sexual relations using a case study of students in two tertiary institutions in the urban-village of Maun in northwestern Botswana. To target information-rich cases for maximum variation, 74 (29 female and 45 male) students from two tertiary institutions (1 private and 1 government) were purposively selected. These were interviewed face-to-face using a semi-structured interview guide consisting of open-ended questions. In addition, three focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted comprising 10 students from each participating institution. Data from the interviews were thematically analyzed and interpreted. The study findings indicate that intricately interlinked factors influence engagement in, and outcomes of, transactional sexual relations among tertiary students in Maun. These include inadequate educational necessities, poor living standards/limited sources of financial support, family upbringing/role models, parental/child neglect, family pressure regarding marriage, and personal vanity/idiosyncrasies. The study concludes that a comprehensive understanding of the multidimensional nature of the phenomena is needed in order to design appropriate interventions to address underlying drivers of transactional relations among tertiary education students.