Schoolgirls’ Knowledge of, and Efforts against Risky Sexual Activity: The Needs for Sex Education in Schools

Budeba Petro Mlyakado


This study explored schoolgirls’ knowledge of sexual activity and their efforts against riskysexual activity including unplanned–premarital–pregnancies in Bagamoyo district andShinyanga district, in Tanzania. Schoolgirls in Tanzania are under considerable pressure toengage in sexual activity unrealistically, and consequently drop out of school due topregnancy. Using questionnaire, covert observation, and focus group interviews to 96schoolgirls, the study revealed that schoolgirls have the basic knowledge of sexual activity,and most of them are sexually active. Schoolgirls practise sexual activity but they have lessnegotiating power on safer sex and preventing themselves from pregnancy and HIVinfections. They are also at considerable risks of sexual violence or abuse from their teachersand the ‘sugar daddies’ through sexual exploitation. The study, then, underscores theprovision of sex education to students and the whole community as well as rethinking on howto bring up the youths in acceptable sexual behaviours.

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