Study shows young Kenyans are misinformed about sexuality and sex

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Estelle Sidze of African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Estelle Sidze of African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

A new study on sexuality education in Kenyan schools has shown that young Kenyans are misinformed about sex and sexuality, according to Estelle Sidze, a research and Health Specialist of African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), a Pan-African research institution stationed in Nairobi.

According to the study, for example, nearly one in four Kenyan secondary school students in Homabay, Nairobi and Mombasa counties think that using condoms during intercourse is a sign of mistrust.

Estelle Sidze said that these inherent contradictions in the responses from nearly 2500 Kenyan students demonstrate that there is a lack of understanding and awareness about sexuality.

“We have a responsibility to the young people of Kenya to provide them with the best possible information about sexuality and sexual behaviours so that they can make smart, empowered choices,” said Estelle Sidze.

The study found that three in four surveyed teachers in the three Counties report that they’re teaching the full slate of topics which constitute a comprehensive approach to sexuality education. Among the students surveyed, however, just 2% expressed confidence that they were receiving information covering the full range of topics from their teachers.

“The study also found that most teachers focus on abstinence as the best method to prevent pregnancies and STIs. The reality is that a quarter of the students mostly between 15 and 17 had already had sexual intercourse at least once, and thus needed the information and skills to do so safely,” she said.