Cape Town - Following the brutal rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen, experts and commentators have called for young boys to be socialised to respect women and to understand sex is not theirs to take.
To understand what role schools are playing in this, the Cape Times checked what the Department of Basic Education’s curriculum and assessment policy statements prescribe teachers should be covering.
Pupils first learn about sex when they are in Grade 3 and are about eight or nine years old.
Teachers continue to discuss sex, gender roles, sexual abuse and rape throughout pupils’ schooling.
In Grade3, under the topic “Keeping my body safe”, pupils learn they aren’t safe with everyone. They also learn rules to keep themselves safe, how to trust their feelings of “yes” and “no”, how to say no to abuse and how to report it.
In Grade 6 during Life Skills classes pupils learn about gender stereotyping, sexism and abuse and the effects of these on personal and social relationships.
In Grade 7 Life Orientation classes, pupils are taught how peer pressure may influence an individual. This includes substance abuse, crime, unhealthy sexual behaviour, bullying and rebellious behaviour.
Grade 8 pupils are taught about sexuality and gender equity. This includes the “emotional, health and social impact of rape and gender-based violence” and the “prevention of violence against women”. Pupils are also taught about the law on sexual offences.
Pupils in Grade 9, the last year of compulsory schooling, learn about sexual behaviour and sexual health.
This includes the unwanted results of unhealthy sexual behaviour – teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and Aids, and emotional scars.
In Grade 10 Life Orientation classes pupils learn about the influence of gender inequality on relationships and general well-being, the right to say “no”, decision-making regarding sexuality, and the behaviours which could lead to rape.
Grade 11 pupils learn about unequal power relations and power struggles between men and women. This includes violence and rape at home and in the workplace.
Matrics learn about the lifestyle diseases which are due to unsafe sexual behaviour. - Cape Times