Acceptability, Sources and Types of Sex Education Messages Received by Young People in Rural Areas: A Case of Maswa District, Tanzania
AbstractThe study intended to explore parents’ feelings and beliefs on issues related to sex education and establish whether parents are ready to discuss with their children or willing to allow sex related information reach their children as a means of reducing the risks of HIV infections. A cross-sectional research design was employed in collecting data from 210 respondents (150 youths and 60 parents) from three community secondary schools namely Sukuma, Malampaka and Kinamwigulu, six primary schools (one from each village) namely Hinduki, Mwadila, Malampaka, Kinamwigulu, Dodoma and Lali. Descriptive analysis and Chi-square were used to test the statistical significance of categorical data. The result reveal that parents and religious leaders are the most common sources of messages on sex education to young people, and which is aimed at combating the spread of HIV and AIDS. Other sources (arranged in the order of importance) were open air campaigns, politicians, other adults, the media and teachers. The most popular message in sex education was abstinence. Other types of sex education messages (arranged from the most popular to the least popular) include abiding by ABC strategy, use of condoms and delaying sex debut. Parents have positive attitudes towards sex education which is given to their children as part of HIV and AIDS prevention. The result reveals that parents and religious leaders are the most common sources of messages on sex education to young people. Parents have good knowledge of HIV and AIDS. However, among young people the level of awareness decrease with age. Attitudes of religious leaders and male parents with regard to HIV and AIDS should be re-addressed. Serious steps should be taken to raise the level of HIV awareness among younger people.