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This study explores primary school teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards childhood sexuality and the teaching of sexuality education at primary school level.Three focus group discussions were conducted with primary school teachers at three different schools.The findings indicated that teachers believe that all children have a sexuality but they differ as from what age children become sexual.
Some teachers reported that they experience difficulties with parents and members of the community when teaching sexuality education at school.
Further, teachers’ understanding of sexuality is gendered, believing that boys and girls develop and experience their sexuality in different ways.
Teachers also indicated that they use the correct names and concepts relating to sexuality when teaching, but during the focus group discussions they experienced difficulty in doing so.
Teachers reported a lot of cases of childhood sexual abuse, relating in some teachers viewing sexuality as similar to sex and within the negative framework of abuse.
The study concluded with a plea from all the teachers for the effective training and education relating to sexuality that includes parents and the community
Dr Julia S.Louw is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council.She completed her PhD programme in 2010 in Rehabilitation Counseling at Michigan State University in the US.MSU awarded her with the Nelson Mandela scholarship in 2007.Her areas of research focus on HIV/AIDS and TB,childhood sexuality and issues related to disabilities
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