“Sex education in
According to Bond, “Even traditional sex education undermines efforts to control the spread of AIDS, since "bamachimbusas" (traditional sex educators) counsel girls to be subservient to their husbands and "never say no." Boys receive no sex education at all”. In a recent study,
“Parent/guardians were asked whether schools should teach about sex education, and 62 percent said that they should. Among these parent/guardians who approved of including sex education in schools, the majority thought that the subject should be introduced in the upper primary grades. Among the 38 percent of parent/guardians who said primary schools should not teach sex education, the most common reasons given were that primary school pupils are too young, that sex education encourages children to have sex, and that it is not appropriate to teach sex education in schools”.
Among 1980 Toka (Zambia), the supposedly secret dances of the girl’s initiation, which imitate desirable sexual movements were actually common knowledge of all small children, boys and girls, who liked to play at practising them “in public and in full view of annoyed adults” (Geisler, 1997:p96-7). As for initiation:
“The process of initiating a girl […] plays a crucial role in shaping a girl's perception of sex and sexuality” (Mlay, 2000:p79-80): “In Zambian families it is a taboo for parents to discuss matters relating to sex and sexuality with their children as only grandparents are supposed to do so. […] Depending on the subject, demonstrations would have to be carried out. This particularly happened during lessons on love-making during which an old woman would lay on top of her for therapeutic [?] demonstrations. […] [According to an informant,] “During all this time the emphasis was on how to please your husband in bed and being submissive to him at all times including making love to him whenever he demands” […]”.
“In order to
prepare Zambian women for their reproductive life and lifestyle they go
through special initiation rites. These rites are still widely practised in
In a 1973 study by Bahl et al. (1975), the commonest age of first
sexual experience in
According to clinical admissions, most STD’s in children are due to a vertical transmission by adults to “promiscuous” adolescents to passive yet curious children.
A further note:
“Many boys and young men recalled early childhood experiments in sexual experience, though they commented, “You know, at that time, we didn’t know what we were doing and we didn’t feel anything.” The pervasive associations between sex and eating are present even in children’s play. Here is just one brief example from the many I recorded.
This young man, a Bemba, now aged twenty, recalled childhood play when he was six or seven year old. There is a clear sense in which children’s play reflected an attempt to imitate the world of their parents and other significant adults. Sexual position also mirrored the assumed superior status of the male. (Most boys and young men also commented that if the girl or woman was on top of them, they would risk being hurt by the weight on their penis). “You know we used to steal some mealie-meal (maize flour) and go in the bush. It was a game. We called it “cooking in small quantities” – but that wasn’t all we did! We would pretend that it was dark. Then the older boys would start to divide us – boys and girls – “This is the wife of this one. This is the wife of this one. Now we young ones we were told that we were the animals in the village – dogs and hens and cocks. Then they would say, “Now, it’s time to sleep!” And the older ones would go into the shelters we had made. Now, those older boys and girls, they would do it (i.e. attempt to have sexual intercourse) and we young ones we would peep and then later we would try for ourselves. I didn’t really do anything, but as a boy, as long a you were on top, then you felt o.k.” A considerable number of boys and young men reported having witnessed (i.e. either seen or heard) their parents or other family members engaged in sex, often in situations where the child slept in the same room as parents or older people and at a time when the child was assumed to be sleeping. Some reported that this aroused in them an early curiosity to experiment”.
Some indigenous concepts:
• MPOLOTO: It is believed that one can cure sexually-transmitted infections by having sexual intercourse with a virgin.
• MAHAMBWE: In this custom a man has sexual intercourse with a close relative, often a child, as it is believed that, through witchcraft, this will bring affluence (increased fertility of the land and animals).
• NKOLOLA: An initiation ceremony of young girls into womanhood. Girls have an overnight stay. This puts them in a dangerous situation because often an elder has sexual intercourse with all the girls.
D. F., Growing Up Sexually.
Last revised: May 2005
 Pillai, V. K. & Barton, Th. R. (1998) Modernization and teenage sexual activity in Zambia, Youth & Society 29,3:293-310
 Kapungwe, Au. K.
(2003) Traditional Cultural Practices of Imparting Sex Education and the Fight
against HIV/AIDS: The Case of Initiation Ceremonies for Girls in
Rasing, Th. (1995) Passing on the rites of passage: Girls'
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Asgate/ACS; Rasing, Th. (2001) The
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Rasing, Th. (forthcoming) The
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 Pillai, V. K., Barton, Th. R. & Benefo, K. (1997) Sexual activity among junior secondary school girls in Zambia, J Biosoc Sci 29,3:297-301. See also Pillai, V. K. & Barton, Th. R. (1999) Sexual activity among Zambian female teenagers: the role of inter personal skills, Adolescence 34(134):381-8
 Ratnam, A. V. et al. (1983) Sexually transmitted disease (STD) in children, East AFr Med J 60,9:637-9
 From: Anthony Simpson, THE MEASURE OF A MAN - Boys, young men and dangerous ideologies of masculinity in the time of HIV/AIDS . A Report for Save the Children Sweden, 2002?[http://www.rb.se/Shop/Archive/Documents/2792%20The_Measure_of_Man.pdf]
 Elective Report by Hannah Brown, The University of Nottingham School of Nursing, May 2003 [http://www.pepaids.org/workwithsapep.htm#wwsreport]
 Peltzer, K. & Likwa, R. (1991) Attitude towards sexual behaviour and sex education among primary school children in Lusaka, Zambia, J Psychol in Africa 1,4:65-71