Innocence for Sale

Innocence for Sale

Health-e investigate the real life implications of Sugar Daddy relationships on the lives of young South African women.

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An older, wealthier man arrives at the bar, and on his arm is a gorgeous 20-something. He’s old enough to be her father, but no one bats an eyelid. He pays for her drinks, clothes and other luxuries, and in return she pays him with sex. “Sugar daddy” relationships are common throughout our country, but there’s nothing sweet about them. The trend of older men offering gifts and money in exchange for relationships with young woman is fuelling our HIV crisis, and creating a teen pregnancy one.

“The guy that I was in love with, he used to do everything for me but look at the end, my dreams have been shattered.” NONHLANHLA MATSUNYANE

“They are destroying themselves by falling in love with older people; some are old enough to be their grandparents.” BAILEY NKUNA, Father

Statistics show that young women between the ages of 14 and 24 are four times more likely to be HIV positive than young boys of the same age. New HIV infections in South Africa are largely amongst young women, and older men between the ages of 30 and 49. It is clear that Sugar Daddy relationships are driving our HIV crisis.

Approximately 80 000 schoolgirls fall pregnant every year and more often than not, it is older men who are fathering these children. Young women who are dependent on their Sugar Daddies have no power to negotiate safe sex. Perpetuating a cycle of poverty, these unwanted and unplanned pregnancies are often the result of intergenerational and transactional relationships.

In “Innocence for Sale”, we meet young women who have been in these relationships, investigating the causes and ultimately the devastating consequences of Sugar Daddies on their lives.

CUTTING EDGE: SABC 1, 21.30

DATE OF BROADCAST: 25 JULY 2013

PRODUCER: FATHIMA SIMJEE