Gogo/Mama group conversation about sexuality in society. With thanks to Khulumani – www.khulumani.net (Photo credit: Ruth Loubser)
Why Sex education?
South Africa’s Sexual Health 5-year Plan
Currently Sexy Smarts focuses on educating learners in Grades 7 to 12. The programme is in line with the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRH&R) Framework Strategy[i] mandating innovative approaches to comprehensive sex education and counselling for adolescents.
Under current sexual offences laws[ii] in South Africa, sexual activity is not a criminal offense, under specific circumstances, from the age of 12 years old. The preamble to the amendment affecting teenagers legitimates discouraging adolescents from engaging in sexual activity that may ‘harm development’ or increase associated risks. Sections 13, 130 and 134 of the Children’s Act (2005) set out children’s rights to health education, including sexual health, consent for HIV testing and access to contraception.
Innovative comprehensive sex education is a strategy which allows adolescents to talk about age appropriate sexual exploration, be empowered to engage in such behaviours with full consent, and understanding of the risks and necessary precautions to prevent disease or unintended pregnancy.