News / Africa

    Safe Sex Classes Help Pre-Teens Avoid Risky Behavior

    Course effectiveness shown in South Africa townships

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Art Chimes

    South African sixth graders who took Western-style sex education classes were less likely to have unprotected sex, according to new research.
    South African sixth graders who took Western-style sex education classes were less likely to have unprotected sex, according to new research.

    New research suggests brief sex education courses reduce risky sexual behaviors — and the threat of sexually transmitted disease — among South African sixth graders.

    Researchers had wondered whether a curriculum based on a Western model might seem irrelevant to kids in poor township schools.

    What they found is that those who took the sex education class reported they were less likely to have unprotected sex during the following year, according to lead researcher John Jemmott of the University of Pennsylvania.

    "In addition, we reduced recent sex — that is, sex in the past three months — and the incidence of multiple partners — reporting that you had two partners in the past three months," Jemmott said. "And unprotected sex as well as multiple partners are important risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV."

    Jemmott and his colleagues conducted the study in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, among sixth-graders in urban schools in Mdantsane and rural schools in Berlin, near East London.

    Students attended six two-hour sessions aimed at reducing sexual risk behaviors using role-playing, games, and discussions. A matching group of students was the control: they took a similar course focusing on other health issues.

    The youngsters in the study were typically around 12, but some were as young as nine. Jemmott says that's not too young for sex education.

    "You want to begin at the earliest possible time, so we did want to begin with young people and talk to them about practicing safer sex or abstinence as a way to prevent sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV," he said in a telephone interview.

    The impact can be seen in the numbers: about four percent of the children in the control group said they had sexual intercourse in the following year, about twice as many as those who had the sex education course.

    University of Pennsylvania researcher John Jemmott says there has been skepticism about the effectiveness of a course developed for use in the very different American culture. But he says this study indicates it can have an impact. "And there've been questions about whether these theories — which some would say are Western theories — would apply in southern Africa. And this study suggests they would apply."

    Jemmott's study is published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association.  

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora