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Curationis. 1999 Mar;22(1):58-63.

Teenage mothers' knowledge of sex education in a general hospital of the Umtata district.

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University of Transkei.


There has been growing concern about the increase in teenage pregnancies in relation to the teenagers' knowledge of human sexuality and the impact sex education has on these teenagers in both the urban and rural areas. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge of sex education and the health beliefs of teenagers with regard to teenage pregnancy. A descriptive study was conducted in the Umtata district of the Eastern Cape. The sample involved 42 teenage mothers drawn from local rural and urban areas attending a Well Baby Clinic at Umtata General Hospital. A questionnaire was used as the method of data collection. Data analysis was done by a software package called SAS. The study revealed that teenagers receive almost no sex education from health personnel and only a little from their parents. The study also revealed that most of these teenagers live with their mothers only instead of both parents. It also became clear that unsafe or unprotected sexual behaviour was practised by these teenagers although teenagers supported the idea of their partners using condoms. The most common problem resulting from teenage pregnancy, as indicated from the study results, was the financial burden on parents and lost educational opportunities by the girls. In the recommendations the parents' involvement in sex education and the improvement of recreational facilities for both urban and rural areas are highlighted. In conclusion, the study has shown the need for more efforts to solve the problem of inadequate sex education and to change the health beliefs of teenagers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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