Die houdings, kennis en gedrag van 'n groep plattelandse adolessente ten opsigte van seksualiteit
Malgas, Albertus Johannes
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Background: There has been a drastic increase in sexual activity among teenagers, due to a decline in community norms. In a recent study conducted by the Medical Research Council, which included more than 7000 pupils from secondary schools from all Education Departments, it became apparent that more than 17 % of all pupils with an average age of 15 years are sexually active. The study furthermore concluded that more than 40 % of these pupils do not engage in measures to prevent either pregnancy or aids infection. This increase in sexual activity can, without the necessary sex education, increase the number of teenage pregnancies. Aim of the study: Unwanted teenage pregnancies in certain rural communities became a source of concern and consequently a need arose to investigate the sexual attitudes, behaviour and knowledge of specific groupings of rural. adolescents who have in the past been socio-politically disadvantaged. Such information is necessary toconstruct an efficient sex education program. Method of research: A literature study was undertaken to both create a theoretical investigation for the mentioned field of study and simultaneously to identify specific themes for the questionnaire. A self-constructed questionnaire was used as measurement for the empirical research. Afrikaans-speaking high school pupils from the Kimberley, Barkly-West and Douglas Education areas, were surveyed. Four from a possible six schools, namely Floors Secondary, Pescodia Secondary, Barkly-West Secondary and Weslaan Secondary have been involved in the study. Out of each group of the grade 8 to 11 pupils from each school, groups of pupils have been drawn randomly and allocated to the study. A total of 1413 pupils have been involved in this study. The completed questionnaires were processed using the SAS program package of the University of the Orange Free State. Descriptive statistics and Chisquares were used as analysing techniques to determine important relationships between chosen variables. A CHAID-analysis has been performed to reveal the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour patterns of the group subjected to the study. Important findings and conclusions: It became apparent from the investigation into the sexual attitudes, behaviour and knowledge of adolescents that a large proportion respondents maintain that pre-marital sex is wrong. There is-a strong association between gender and the attitudes of the respondents about pre-marital sexual contact. A larger percentage of girls (76,72 %) than boys (44,28 %) hold the opinion that practising pre-marital sex is wrong. Boys thus display more liberal sexual attitudes than girls. The school, parents, popular magazines and the peer group exercise a great deal of influence on the formation of opinion of the respondents about the acceptability of pre-marital sex. It appears that the school and parents contribute more positively to the attitudes of adolescents with regard to pre-marital sex, as is the case with popular magazines and peer groups. The attitudes of the respondents with regard to sexual contact also influence their attitudes towards the use of contraceptives. It furthermore appears from the study that the sexual behaviour of respondents is influenced by their sexual attitudes. With both boys and girls, a larger proportion respondents, who already experienced sex compare to those who did not, is of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with pre-marital sex. Gender differences are quite apparent with regard to both the sexual attitudes and behaviour of the respondents. More boys than girls indicated that they previously had sex. Boys thus do not only display more liberal attitudes, but also have a tendency towards more promiscuous behaviour. It also appears that the sexual attitudes and behaviour of the repondents influence their knowledge. Those respondents who are of the opinion that they have sufficient knowledge about the physical aspects of sexuality, also hold the opinion that pre-marital sex is not wrong and indeed already experienced sexual contact. Thus the sexual knowledge of adolescents are determined, to a large extent, by their sexual attitudes and behaviour. With regard to the respondents' knowledge about contraception, it appears that they are uncertain about the adequacy of their knowledge and that most of their knowledge about sexuality is obtained from friends. Recommendations: Because the school and parents exert such an important influence on the attitudes of adolescents, parents should especially be involved in the sex education of their children. Parents should be trained to provide direction to their children with respect to fundamental aspects of sexuality. There is a need to develop and avail- programs to train parents to effectively talk to their children about human sexuality. The establishment of youth centres or the more effective utilisation of existing services which aim at sexual development and guidance of adolescents, serve as a strong recommendation. A general, conclusive recommendation is for the organised teaching profession, parents and responsible institutions to urgently involve themselves in the development and implementation of informed sex education programmes.