Abstract Talking about sexuality has never been easy in most Namibians cultures and it seems that most parents feel uncomfortable and embarrassed to talk openly with their children about sexuality.
They do not participate in the sexuality education of their children, because they believe they are unable to provide quality and adequate sexuality information due to their lack of knowledge about human sexuality or their perceived inability to explain what they do know.
The ultimate purpose of this study was to develop, describe, implement and evaluate an educational programme to empower rural parents to participate in the sexuality education of their children.
The study was designed to be qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual in nature. It was performed in three phases. Phase 1 consisted of a situational analysis to explore and describe how parents provide sexuality education.
Phase 2 consisted of the development of a conceptual framework that facilitated the development of an educational programme. In phase 3 the programme was implemented and evaluated, recommendations were made and conclusions drawn. The main findings revealed two themes: This article is part of series of three article stems from a study on the topic of sexuality education empowerment programme of rural parents in Namibia.
The three articles have the following titles: Introduction and Rationale of the Study Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs and values about identity, relationships and intimacy. It encompasses sexuality development, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image and gender roles. It also addresses the biological, socio-cultural, psychological and spiritual dimensions of sexuality from the cognitive domain information , the affective domain feelings, values and attitudes , and the behavioural domain communication and decision- making skills Taris, According to Greathead , parents are the primary sources from which children obtain norms and values.
Schoeberlein conducted a survey on parent-child communication about sexuality and found that the benefits of such communication may not lie in the actual content of the communication as much as in the attitudes conveyed by parents. According to Taris , these findings explain why children who can talk to their parents about sexuality are less likely to engage in sexual activity, and are more responsible in their approaches to sexual activity.
However, Harrison stated that a large number of children receive considerable misinformation about sexuality issues from their peers and he revealed that parents provide very little direct information about sexuality issues to their children. They also stated that much of the information that children get from their parents is observational and indirect, because children do not get sexuality-related information by having conversations with their parents Harrison, In the Namibian context, most parents do not talk openly to their children about issues of sexuality.
Culturally in Namibia, it is a known fact that discussing sexuality issues in society is a very sensitive matter and is considered by many to be a taboo or a sin Stephenson et al. Most Namibian parents do not participate in the sexuality education of their children, because they perceive themselves as being unable to provide quality and adequate sexuality information. Thus many parents, even the best of parents who are committed to the future of their children feel incompetent, inadequate and ill prepared, either factually, emotionally or both, to teach their children about sexuality development, sexuality relations and reproductive health with all its physical, social and ethical implications and consequences Greathead, ; Mtezuka, ; Rew, Increased incidents of teenage pregnancy in Namibia, and its concomitant adverse effects, are one of the most serious phenomena in a time when more and more children are having children Teenage parenthood.
Teenage pregnancy has a detrimental health, social and economic effect on the teenager, her baby, her parents, and the father of the child, the family and the community at large. Teenage parenthood is often accompanied by lowered educational attainment and significantly reduced career opportunities and children of young mothers experience more behavioural, cognitive problems, poorer educational achievements and higher teenage pregnancy rate by the time they reach school ages Jordan et al.
In light of the rapid spread of HIV, the increase of sexual transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies, lowered educational attainment, psychological and emotional problems, the researcher has become extremely concerned about the future of Namibian children. Therefore the researcher feels that there is an urgent need to promote constructive interpersonal relationships and open communication between parents and their children.
The main purpose of the study was to develop and describe, implement and evaluate an educational programme which will empower rural parents to provide sexuality education for their children.
The following objectives were formulated in order to achieve the aim of this study: Method and Design The study is a qualitative, descriptive, explorative and contextual in design, and most appropriate to provide information from in-depth descriptions from the data.
It was carried out in three phases namely, Phase 1: Situational analysis, phase 2: Conceptual framework and programme development and phase 3, dealt with programme implementation. In this paper, the findings are described and discussed. This paper dealt with phase one; the situational analysis, involved the qualitative exploration and description on how rural parents are providing sexuality education for their children, and it also explored and described the needs of the children from the sexuality education they detained from their parents and identified challenges experienced by parents in the provision of sexuality education to their children.
During this phase, an explorative, descriptive and contextual investigation by means of focus group interviews, and individual in-depth interviews with rural parents and children were conducted. This helped the researcher to gather information from both parents and children and thus to accommodate the needs of both groups during the development of the programme. The researcher conducted pilot focus group interviews. It was carried out in order to test the practical aspects of a research study and to investigate the feasibility of the proposed study.
During the process of conducting the study, the researchers adhered to ethical considerations. Overall permission was obtained from the governors of the regions. Themes were developed based on the findings 2. The population for this study consisted of Oshiwambo speaking rural parents fathers and mothers living with a child aged years living in the Ohangwena region in Namibia.
The participants agreed to participate voluntarily. The sample consisted of seventy 70 participants, of whom fifty 50 were for group discussions and twenty 20 were for individual in-depth interviews.
The focus group discussions involved of fifteen mothers 15 and twelve fathers 12 , twelve 12 girls and eleven 11 boys. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted twice. Ten 10 parents and ten 10 children were interviewed.
The context for this study is the Ohangwena region. The Ohangwena region is one of the thirteen regions of Namibia and one of the four northern regions. Domestically it boarders the following regions: Okavango in the east, Oshikoto in the south, Oshana in the south-west and Omusati in the west. The northern and western parts of the region are the most densely populated. According to the Namibia population and housing census, Ohangwena had a population of , growing at an annual rate of 2.
The fertility rate was 5. The Ohangwena region was selected because rural areas are most less privileged when it comes to the accessibility of health services. Most of the people living in rural areas do not have access to health services, and most of the Namibian youth are residing in northern Namibia. See Figure 1 to locate Ohangwena region.