Business Day (Johannesburg) (04.17.12) - Wednesday, April 18,
Researchers in education, HIV/AIDS, and adolescence say public
dialogue about how best to teach sex education is needed in
A qualitative study by experts from the University of
Cambridge, Human Sciences Research Council and Aga Kahn
University examined the views of primary school students and
teachers in South Africa, as well as in Kenya and Tanzania.
The youths were far more willing to talk about the risks and
role of sex than the adults believed, but an approach of
protecting children's innocence by withholding information
could put them at risk, the experts found.
South African children who face HIV risk are very much left to
their own devices, said Dr. Ariane De Lannoy, a University of
Cape Town sociologist. Though schools may not be the best site
for educating youths on sex and HIV/AIDS, the role they play
in general education makes them necessary for teaching safe
and healthy behaviors, said Dr. Colleen McLaughlin, deputy
head of education at Cambridge.