‘Talk to pupils about sex’


IOL sex on school grounds

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Sex on school grounds is so rife that parents, pupils and teachers need to sit down often for frank discussions about teenage sexuality, experts say.

This after a schoolgirl at Jules High in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, complained to police she had been gang-raped by fellow pupils last week.

The Western Cape Education Department has since disclosed that five cases of serious sexual misconduct had been recorded at schools this year.

All the pupils involved had been expelled. The schools had recommended to the department that the pupils be expelled.

Clinical sexologist Marlene Wasserman suggested pupils should be taught which sexual behaviour was appropriate at school.

She said sex at schools was “happening all the time”.

There needed to be an increased number of conversations about sex and an acceptance from parents that their children might be sexually active or in abusive relationships.

Wasserman said she often spoke to pupils at schools and during radio shows on various stations.

She said children of school-going age were having sex and were starting to have sex at an increasingly younger age.

A study by loveLife had found 42 percent of 15- to 17-year-old pupils are having sex and 51 percent of children start having sex before they are 15.

She said because this study had been compiled in 2004, it was assumed these figures had increased.

Wasserman said she was not surprised children had been caught having sex on school grounds as there was often no other place available to them.

“Therefore it is natural they would use the schools. Schools should have discussions on reasons why it is inappropriate and teach children to experiment in sexually healthy ways.”

Wasserman said schools should make it clear it was not appropriate to have sex at school and encourage pupils to find other places to express their sexuality safely.

“Something has to be done,” Wasserman said.

Brian Isaacs, principal of South Peninsula High in Diep River, said there needed to be constant dialogue between parents, pupils and the school so that issues around sex were discussed openly and often.

“One is aware, especially at high schools, that young people are growing up and have an attraction for members of the opposite sex.

“It is an ongoing problem in regard of speaking to pupils regularly and to parents.”

He said teachers often spotted pupils holding hands or kissing on school grounds and that was immediately stopped before it “got out of hand”.

Isaacs said the school taught pupils about sex in life orientation classes. Pupils were encouraged to abstain from having sex but taught to use contraceptives if they chose to engage in sexual activity.

A study last year commissioned by Unicef on behalf of the national Education Department found 66 percent of young girls who reported being pregnant said they had not been using contraception.

This outweighed any other reason for falling pregnant, including wanting to have a baby (28 percent), pregnancy as a way of gaining respect (6 percent) and a forced sexual interaction (3 percent).

Despite the statistics that said contraception was not being used, studies had found there was a high level of education among young people about contraception and that contraceptives were widely available.

The study found there was no single “magic bullet” to prevent teenage pregnancy.

“What is required is comprehensive approaches within the home, the school, the community, the healthcare setting and at a structural level.”

michelle.jones@inl.co.za - Cape Times


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Simply simple-hearted Simon., wrote

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03:27pm on 11 November 2010
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To inform someone in trouble what to do to overcome his problem is one thing, but to not teach him how, usually makes the whole exercise ineffective. It is indeed most honorable to inform the young and usually vulnerable to refrain from sexual promiscuity, but do the honorable counselors have the ability to really effectively counter the lusts of the very demanding, often-undisciplined flesh in their own lives. Due to the distinct, steep decline in the moral values of our Nation over the past few years, all insights into things pertaining to the fruits and truths of the spirit seem to have been totally abandoned. Without these God-empowered controls, No Nation will survive! What our Nation needs is a major revival and a really powerful Spiritual make-over; this starting from the very top echelons. Nothing else will suffice! How about you, Mr.Zuma and our beloved Bishop Tutu getting together to set the wheels of revival in motion. You may be assured that God's Blessings will return to us all, as never before. There is no time to be wasted!

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:56pm on 11 November 2010
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simple way is expel any student found guilty of voluntary sex at school. you won't catch everybody, but expel those you catch. it has worked for hundreds of british style public education, why stop now. The style of RSA education was initiated by the Brits or copied from them in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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Sandra, wrote

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02:27pm on 11 November 2010
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@ Get Real Spot on. I could not have said it better myself.

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Wally Barber, wrote

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02:12pm on 11 November 2010
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CORRECT, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. To start with why ask a clinical sexologist what needs to be done. It is obvious what is said in this article is NOT what our youth need. How about teaching our youth the principle of no sex before marriage. After 60% and up of those youth get affected by serious sexually transmitted diseases will be too late. Are we going to wait until more than half of our children are lost to AIDS, or are we going to take sufficient action now. And by the way what is meant by expressing their sexuality 'safely', what are you thinking???

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H, wrote

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01:53pm on 11 November 2010
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This is the obvious result of our G0dless society.

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:52pm on 11 November 2010
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It is surprising that there are still adults who compare the conduct of today's children to themselves. Adults please wise up to the fact that children nowadays are exposed to a lot of information that was not readily available during our time. It is also naive to go on about that children should not be taught of safe alternatives like the use of condoms. Contraception and condom use sre advised as the reality is children are sexually active from a young age. This does not mean that parents and educators are not doing their part in teaching these kids, but peer pressure as well as exposure to sexual materials is very difficult to control especially for working parents who spend less and less time with their children. Let us stop the blaming game and do whatever we can to spread the word about respect of self and others.

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:44pm on 11 November 2010
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It is very much sad and disturbing to read all the comment that encourage children to still find alternative place to have sex.Children are at school to study buttom line.The problem is the they can not be disciplined and they don`t have respect at all.

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:18pm on 11 November 2010
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I believe because we have given information to our children when they are far too young with regards to sex, that they will experiment. We were never told about sex or drugs before we were 12 or 13 years old, and because we did not know about it, it was never an issue. These children are still very young and get given adult information that is tempting and they will obviously start experimenting. I think its absolutely disgusting that abortions are being used as contraception. But unfortunately this is becoming a norm. Sex, abortions and killing of innocent people. What is this world coming to?

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:18pm on 11 November 2010
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This is absolutely shocking!!!! How much further are we going to allow our society to sink? where are our morals? where are our values? Children are just that... children! they should NOT be having sex, and we as adults should not even be considering offering them safer alternatives to where they can be having sex! What ever happened to the belief that sex was something special, something intimate between a man and a woman who Love and respect one another? Children (I'm talking up to the age of 18) have no idea what love and commitment are all about! and as a result should not be allowed to have sex! The problem is that parents don't want to be parents anymore, they want to be friends! Wake up guys, we are slipping deeper and deeper into a black hole that will eventually swallow us in - we are responsible for our society lets draw a line in the sand and say no to this moral degredation! PS Marlene Wasserman should lose her licence - for throwing out such irresponsible comments like " ...teach children to experiment in sexually healthy ways.” WTF???!!!!!???

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:12pm on 11 November 2010
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This is absolutely shocking!!!! How much further are we going to allow our society to sink? where are our morals? where are our values? Children are just that... children! they should NOT be having sex, and we as adults should not even be considering offering them safer alternatives to where they can be having sex! What ever happened to the belief that sex was something special, something intimate between a man and a woman who Love and respect one another? Children (I'm talking up to the age of 18) have no idea what love and commitment are all about! and as a result should not be allowed to have sex! The problem is that parents don't want to be parents anymore, they want to be friends! Wake up guys, we are slipping deeper and deeper into a black hole that will eventually swallow us in - we are responsible for our society lets draw a line in the sand and say no to this moral degredation!

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:11pm on 11 November 2010
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Well, its comes down to the education system. So much for wanting to adopt foreign policies that you over looked policies and systems that worked for centuries. Forget apartheid and legacy issues, look at what worked. We had guidance classes at school and it started at Std 4 (giving away my age here, haha) and in this guidance classes the teacher dealt with a number of relevant issues pertaining to the age group. We talk about career choices especially in Std 5 and the physical changes as you grow. Biology dealt with other aspects of the phsical change and emotional aspect were for the guidance class. Remember PT that was worked in the school hours not extra-mural activities. So how about relooking at the systems here and if I have to say so myself, product of Bantu education. I turned out pretty well for most students post 1994.

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:03pm on 11 November 2010
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This is not a new issue that society has to deal with, when i was at school there were teenagers that were sexually active, who do you blame?, The Parents? The Teachers? , children must also take responsibility for their actions, some children choose to abstain and others dont, all parents and educators can do is to guide them in life, at the end of the day they still have the power of choice , to choose whether to abstain or to engage in a sexual relationship. The more you say something is wrong , the more the child will rebel, Marlene Wasseman indicates the reality that this situation is not getting better and other means need to be introduced to deal with this situation, sex education has been introduced in many schools, once again i stress that children can only decide for themselves whats right from wrong, no matter how much guidance is given by parents and educators.

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Lionel, wrote

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10:49am on 11 November 2010
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To Anonymous, the first comment on this subject. I very much doubt that 'semsoring' nor censoring movies and magazines is the answer. School boys should be made to drink a large glass of water mixed with blue stone every morning, the old army trick, when it was placed in the coffee and tea.

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:49am on 11 November 2010
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Parents should talk (with love) to their children about sex;explain the importance of sex,it's complications and who should engage in it;also teach them difference between love and sex.This shouldn't be schools responsibility only.It seems that we are an angry nation.We all need love!!!!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:22am on 11 November 2010
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Start semsoring movies and magazines.

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Get Real, wrote

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10:15am on 11 November 2010
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Liberals just kill me with their "more talk" and "more education" mentality. Never in the history of the world has a generation been so exposed to and talked to about sex than this one. How much more time must the education department take away from real learning to spend on something that in effect the educators and politicians caused with their amoral approach? What a an absolute joke, you could spend 40 hours a week talking about sex and what you would end up doing is serving as lingusitical foreplay for what they plan on doing after the "education". Take away discipline and destroy the home and then wonder where it all went wrong--you lot will never learn!

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:13am on 11 November 2010
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W.T F.!!!!! - "pupils should be taught which sexual behaviour was appropriate at school"!! as far as I am concerned NO sexual behaviour should be appropriate at school.

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:58am on 11 November 2010
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"A study last year commissioned by Unicef on behalf of the national Education Department......" cannot believe they actually had to do a study to find this out.

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Justice "concerned parent", wrote

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09:07am on 11 November 2010
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"teach children to experiment in sexually healthy ways"??? THAT IS SO IRRESPONSIBLE OF MARLENE TO SUGGEST THAT. NO CHILD SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO EXPERIMENT WITH SEX. SCHOOL KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE SUPPOSED TO REMAIN KIDS UNTIL THEY FINISH SCHOOL. SCHOOLS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO TEACH KIDS TO STAY AWAY FROM SEX AND ADVICED OF THE DANGERS OF SEX AT A YOUNG AGE.

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Gavin, wrote

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08:58am on 11 November 2010
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A symptom of our sick society.By offering children advice on contraception and where not to explore their sexuality we are condoning any form of sexual expression. No wonder the chidrens homes are overflowing with unwanted babies and traumatised children.We must stop saying sex amongst children is acceptable. It will never be. Come on, parents do your job and stop allowing your children to "explore their sexuality". One should only engage in sexual activity if one understands and can deal with the consequences. Lets keep our childre innocent and send them to school to learn unencumbered by things of the grown up world. Somewhere some of our parents are failing. Children generally do what they are permitted to do. If parents are held accountable for the actions of their children then we will see a turn around in the way our children act. Spend time with your children doing family things and allow them to be children.Love and discipline are the most important things in rearing a child..

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