Original Research

In search of healthy sexuality: the gap between what youth want and what teachers think they need

Christa Beyers
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 9, No 3 | a197 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v9i3.197 | © 2013 Christa Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2016 | Published: 30 December 2013

About the author(s)

Christa Beyers, University of the Free State, South Africa

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The fact that youth between the ages of 15 and 24 are most vulnerable to contract HIV (UNAIDS, 2011) is a clear indication that adults are failing to provide them with the necessary skills and information to make informed decisions about healthy sexuality. Adults, including teachers, have a responsibility to engage youth about sexuality, in order to challenge critical thinking with the aim of contributing towards healthy and responsible individuals. Presently, sexuality education is taught as a component of Life Orientation, and teachers are given a considerable amount of autonomy on what and how to teach. This article aims to explore the gap between what youth want from sexuality education and what teachers think they need. I pose two questions: What are the sexuality education needs of youth? What do teachers think youth need in terms of sexuality education? To answer these questions, I argue that teachers seem to have knowledge on what youth need, but do not necessarily respond to what youth require in terms of sexuality education. Using an interpretive stance, I explore potential gaps and possible opportunities in how sexuality education is taught and discuss the need for a common agreement on, or understanding for the teaching and learning of sexuality education. I conclude with direction that future research might take.


communication; sexuality; social network sites


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