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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Between tradition and modernity: girls’ talk about sexual relationships and violence in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique

    This paper interrogates the influence of a tradition-modernity dichotomy on perspectives and practices on sexual violence and sexual relationships involving girls in three districts of Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Through deploying an analytical framework of positioning within multiple discursive sites, the authors argue that although the dichotomy misrepresents the complexity of contemporary communities, it is nonetheless deployed by girls, educational initiatives and researchers in their reflections on girls’ sexual practices and sexual violence. …

  2. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  3. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  4. Life orientation sexuality education in South Africa: Gendered norms, justice and transformation

    Research on sexual practices among young South Africans has proliferated in light of the national imperatives to challenge the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and unwanted early pregnancies. It has been widely acknowledged that, in order to respond to these social problems, we need to understand the enmeshment of gender, class, age and other forms of social inequality, and how these are played out in ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships.

  5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  6. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  7. Population Brief

    Articles from this issue : Making sexuality and HIV education programs more effective | Reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa | Developing a highly acceptable contraceptive vaginal ring | Creating a database of HIV prevention clinical trial terminology and translations.

  8. Experiences of pregnant adolescents - voices from Wakiso district, Uganda

    Background: In Uganda, morbidity and mortality among adolescent mothers and their children are high. Social factors behind this problem need to be better understood. Objective: To explore problems that pregnant adolescents face in order to design appropriate policies and interventions. Methods: This was a descriptive study that utilized qualitative methods for data collection. The study population comprised of pregnant adolescents, adolescent mothers, opinion leaders, In-charge of health unit, and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Wakiso district, Uganda. …

  9. Youth in a void: sexuality, HIV/AIDS and communication in Kenyan public schools

    The disappearance of traditional sex education during rites of passage in African societies has left many youth uncertain of where to look for information. Against this backcloth, the objectives of this study were to identify knowledge gaps amongst adolescents in Kenya regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. A thematic analysis was conducted of questions posed by 735 school youth aged 12–18 years from Meru and Kajiado Districts. Results show that many questions showed curiosity and anxiousness. …

  10. National cross sectional study of views on sexual violence and risk of HIV infection and AIDS among South African school pupils

    Objective: To investigate the views of school pupils on sexual violence and on the risk of HIV infection and AIDS and their experiences of sexual violence. Design: National cross sectional study. Setting: 5162 classes in 1418 South African schools. Participants: 269 705 school pupils aged 10-19 years in grades 6-11. Main outcome measure: Answers to questions about sexual violence and about the risk of HIV infection and AIDS. Results: Misconceptions about sexual violence were common among both sexes, but more females held views that would put them at high risk of HIV infection. …

  11. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  12. Dating violence among school students in Tanzania and South Africa: prevalence and socio-demographic variations

    Aims: To identify with whom in-school adolescents preferred to communicate about sexuality, and to study adolescents' communication on HIV/AIDS, abstinence and condoms with parents/guardians, other adult family members, and teachers. Data were obtained from a baseline questionnaire survey carried out in South Africa (Cape Town and Mankweng) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) in early 2004. We analysed data for 14,944 adolescents from 80 randomly selected schools. …

  13. Non-consensual sex, school enrolment and education outcomes in South Africa

    Sexual violence is a significant problem in South Africa. Such encounters bring psychological trauma, social stigma, and the risk of pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Existing qualitative research indicates that survivors have difficulty concentrating on school-work, with many reportedly losing interest and some leaving school. The relationship between these experiences and school enrolment and educational attainment has not been quantified in sub-Saharan Africa. …

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