How parents have failed their children on sex education, study finds

By Killiad Sinide | Tuesday, Jun 11th 2019 at 14:27
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Parents have been thrown on the spotlight for failing to educate their children on sexual and reproductive health. This is according to a survey conducted by Geopoll.

The study highlighted that parents are one of the least used sources of age-appropriate sexual reproductive health (AASRH) education. For instance, only 12 percent of Kenyans learn about menstruation from their parents, while 62 percent learn about it in school.

Findings extracted from respondents between the ages of 18-24 years denote that parents account for 5 percent of AASRH education in Nairobi and Homabay Counties. Kilifi, Wajir and Nyeri Counties recorded 11, 8 and percent respectively while Narok came in last with four percent among the six counties the survey was held.

Furthermore, the study indicates that a third of the respondents who have attended school preferred to get information on AASRH through social media while 42 percent of those who have not received any formal education prefer to get their knowledge from radio and television.

“As one of our top concerns, we identified that 38 percent of respondents said they would want to know more about HIV/AIDS, 22 percent would want to learn more about contraceptives and only 6 percent wanted to learn more about sex,” said the Geopoll Director of Project Management, Tavian MacKinnon.

Coming at a time when the country is faced with a debate on lowering the legal sex consent age, a report done by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) put Kilifi, Narok, and Homabay as the three counties with the highest number of teenage pregnancy rates.

Consequently, the counties mentioned above are set to benefit from a comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) program, a behavior change campaign that will expose the key issues facing young people and their sexual reproductive health rights.

“We are rolling out an intense three-year mitigation campaign in those three counties and will have more of these conversations on our online campaign dubbed WIWIK- ‘What I wish I knew’ effective immediately,” JIACTIVATE chairperson Mr. Grayson Marwa said.

Interestingly, 78 percent of the respondents disagreed with the gender statement that ‘a woman should tolerate violence to keep her family together.’

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