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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Learners perceptions and experience of the content and teaching of sexuality education: Implications for teacher education

    This article aims to explore Grade 11 learners perceptions and experience of the teaching of sexuality education. A total of 270 adolescent boys (n 121) and girls (n 149) from the Heidedal suburb of the greater Mangaung Municipality, South Africa, completed an anonymously written Teaching of Sexuality Education Attitude Scale (TSEAS). The questionnaire was constructed on a six-point Likert scale with response options ranging from 1 (highly disagree) to 6 (highly agree). …

  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. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  4. Structural drivers and social protection: mechanisms of HIV risk and HIV prevention for South African adolescents

    Social protection is high on the HIV-prevention agenda for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. However, questions remain: How do unconditional cash transfers work? What is the effect of augmenting cash provision with social care? And can “cash plus care” social protection reduce risks for adolescents most vulnerable to infection? This study tackles these questions by first identifying mediated pathways to adolescent HIV risks and then examining potential main and moderating effects of social protection in South Africa.

  5. 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. …

  6. 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.

  7. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  8. The unfinished nature of rights-informed HIV- and AIDS-related education: an analysis of three school-based initiatives

    Over the past 25 years, there has been growing investment in concepts of rights in the areas of HIV prevention, care and treatment, including HIV- and AIDS-related education delivered in schools. Despite this increasing commitment to the notion of rights, few efforts appear to have been made to understand the varying conceptions of rights that underpin different kinds of initiatives. …

  9. Designing an effective sexuality education curriculum for schools: lessons gleaned from the South(ern) African literature

    Sexuality education forms part of the national school curricula of most sub-Saharan African countries, yet risk-related sexual behaviour among young people continues to fuel the HIV pandemic in this part of the world. One of the arguments put forward to explain why sexuality education seems to have had little impact on sexual risk-taking is that existing curricula have neglected to take into account the complexity of the social, cultural and gender norms that influence the behaviour of school-going young people in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  10. Creating Futures: lessons from the development of a livelihood-strengthening curriculum for young people in eThekwini's informal settlements

    Comprehending praxis is a critical step in developing interventions that can have a real-world impact on people's lives. In this paper, we reflect on the lessons learned in the development of a curriculum for young people living in informal settlements in eThekwini, who are exposed to numerous vulnerabilities, including HIV-related risks associated with precarious urban livelihoods. Behavioural interventions have not led to commensurate reductions in HIV incidence, and the impact of these approaches remains regulated by numerous contextual conditions affecting those participating. …

  11. Revealing the full extent of households’ experiences of HIV and AIDS in rural South Africa

    Households experience HIV and AIDS in a complex and changing set of environments. These include health and welfare treatment and support services, HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and individual and household social and economic circumstances. This paper documents the experiences of 12 households directly affected by HIV and AIDS in rural KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, between 2002 and 2004. The households were observed during repeated visits over a period of more than a year by ethnographically trained researchers. …

  12. Feminist Formations

    Articles from this issue : Girls’ schooling, gender equity, and the global education and development agenda: conceptual disconnections, political struggles, and the difficulties of practice, Situating empowerment for millennial schoolgirls in Gujarat, India and Shaanxi, China, engendering agency: the differentiated impact of educational initiatives in Zambia and India, History transformed?: Gender in World War II narratives in U.S. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Challenges in providing HIV and sexuality education to learners with disabilities in South Africa: the voice of educators

    People with disabilities are at increased risk of exposure to HIV, yet they lack access to HIV prevention, treatment care and support including sexuality education. Lack of knowledge, skills and confidence of educators teaching sexuality education to learners with disabilities is related to this increased vulnerability. This study identifies possible challenges educators of learners with disabilities face when teaching sexuality and HIV education. …

  15. Teenage pregnancy and parenting at school in contemporary South African contexts: deconstructing school narratives and understanding policy implementation

    South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …

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