teen pregnancy

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Practical Measures Needed on Teen Sexual Education

By Susan Anyangu

MOMBASA, Oct 27 (IPS) - Kenyan teenagers are having sex. And they appear to have no clue how to go about it.

A report by the Nairobi-based Centre for the Study of Adolescents (CSA) reports that 40 percent of girls and 50 percent of boys reported having had sex before their 19th birthday, a significant minority reported having sex with more than one partner in the previous six months.  The report also confirms what many youth workers observe in their daily work: the youth are having sex but they lack vital information on sexual and reproductive health.

IPS visited St Georges Boys Secondary School in Kaloleni, Kilifi, in Kenya's Coast province, and found that myths abound among the youth where matters of sexuality are concerned.

Seventeen-year-old Isaac Thura said he had been told that if one has sex while standing, pregnancy will not occur.  His 16-year-old classmate Billy Warui said a friend told him that sex is important to strengthen a relationship.  The boys admitted that they do not talk to their parents about sexual matters because the subject is taboo.

When asked which they feared more between pregnancy and contracting HIV, a majority of the boys said they would rather contract the virus.

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