A Study on Parents’ Participation in the Sexuality Education of Their Children in Rural Namibia
The goal of this study is to explore and describe how rural parents provide their children with sexuality education, to explore and identify children’s sexuality education needs, and to identify and describe the challenges faced by rural parents in their children’s sexuality education provision. In most Namibian cultures, talking about sexuality has never been easy and it seems like most parents feel awkward and ashamed to speak about sexuality openly with their kids. They do not engage in their children’s sexuality education because, because of their lack of awareness about human sexuality or their perceived inability to clarify what they know, they feel they are unable to provide quality and adequate sexuality information. The process of gaining knowledge and developing perceptions, opinions and values about gender, relationships and intimacy is a lifelong process of sexuality education. This includes the growth of sexuality, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, love, intimacy, body image and gender roles. The ultimate objective of this study was to create, identify, introduce and evaluate an educational program to encourage rural parents to engage in their children’s sexual education. The research was structured to be qualitative in nature, exploratory, descriptive and contextual. It was carried out in 3 stages. Step 1 consisted of a scenario analysis to analyze and explain how sexual education is given by parents. The development of a conceptual structure that enabled the development of an instructional program consisted of Step 2. The program was introduced and reviewed in step 3, and recommendations were made and conclusions were drawn. The key findings revealed two themes: factors affecting parental involvement in the sexuality education of their children, and the need for parental participation in the sexuality education of their children. This article is part of a series of three papers resulting from a report on the empowerment of rural parents in Namibia’s sexuality education program. The three papers have the following titles: one: the participation of parents in their children’s sexuality education: situational analysis; two: changes in the conceptual structure to promote the advancement of the instructional program; and three: implementation and evaluation of the program. This paper dealt with the involvement of parents in their children’s sexuality education: a situational study. As socializing agents, parents can serve an essential role by providing their children with standards and values and that they are the primary sources from which children derive their standards and values. Successful sexuality education also offers an opportunity for young people to discuss why people have sex and to think about how it includes thoughts, empathy for themselves and others and their attitudes, choices and bodies.
Dr. Linda Ndeshipandula Lukolo
Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Namibia Windhoek, Namibia.
Agnes van Dyk
International University of Management, Windhoek Namibia Windhoek, Namibia.
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