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Working memory without consciousness Article. Agonism and the reconception of European citizenship Article. Assessment of posttraumatic symptoms in patients with first-episode psychosis Article. Using SenseCam with an amnesic patient: Accessing inaccessible everyday memories Article. The enforcement approach to crime prevention Article. Seasonal differences in the diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion in healthy participants and those with self-assessed seasonal affective disorder Article. A randomised placebo-controlled trial of oral hydrocortisone for treating tobacco withdrawal symptoms Article.

Hyper-reality and statebuilding: Baudrillard and the unwillingness of international administrations to cede control Article. Domain general mechanisms account for imagined transformations of whole body perspective Article.

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Childhood trauma and cognitive function in first-episode affective and non-affective psychosis Article. Associations between the cortisol awakening response and heart rate variability Article. Personality and media influences on violence and depression in a cross-national sample of young adults: data from Mexican-Americans, English and Croatians Article. It is sacred because it is the link we have between the past, present and future.

The past is that we are products of sex; the present in that we engage in sex to create the future which is our children. As such it is for those people who are mature and have been taught about what it means. Parents in the focus group discussions were mainly Christian, arguing that premarital sex is immoral. They argued that fornication is a sin and they teach their children not to sin against God. In such a context, adolescents are starved of information about sex in their homes.

When asked about their own children, most parents refused to admit their children are part of youth engaging in illicit sexual behaviours. I monitor all she does. The headmaster argued that it was only public denial but privately they know their children are sexually active. He noted that:. Parents know what their children are doing. It is public shame and stigma that makes them deny it in public. They are afraid that people will judge them as bad parents. There are however some who genuinely do not know their children are sexually active.

The children nowadays with all this technology are having different lives that their parents are not even aware of. Parents in in-depth interviews however reiterated that their children are not sexually active. Questioned further the parents agreed that they might have suspicions but they are strict with their children by giving them curfews, monitoring their movements and constantly warning them about pregnancy and HIV.

One of the parents indicated that:. It is not possible to talk about sex openly with our children however we give them warnings about AIDS and pregnancy. Parents in the study showed an impressive level of denial. Most parents forget that teenagers are mostly young and sexually curious. Parents tend to see their own children as asexual despite evidence of increased teen sex. What is interesting is how adults seem to think sex is not good for children. It is adult business. They should wait for their time. You see the girls with boys at odd hours yet the parents do not do anything.

These kids are doing what they want. Another male participant said that. They are always looking for sex.

'Adolescence', Pregnancy and Abortion: Constructing a Threat of Degeneration

This is why I am always watching my children. Other children maybe highly sexual and the age of sexual debut maybe going up but parents are adamant that their children are not involved. Sexual surveillance and sexual communication: Sexual surveillance amongst parents is very high yet there is very little sex communication between adolescence and parents. Monitoring of children is done through knowing where they are all the time and gossip from other parents and youths. It is however the lack of communication about sex which is disconcerting. Adolescence can be a confusing period for children especially if no information is forthcoming.

It coincides with emergence of a sexually maturing body and development of sexual desires. Adolescence is a time for youths to learn to understand and deal with sexual desires whilst experimenting with sexual behaviours. When asked about this lack of information, a male parent answered that:. How do you start talking to your daughter or son about sex? They will lose respect for you. Children need to respect their parents. We are not friends if I know you are engaging in sex then you will be punished.

This surveillance and punishment system makes it impossible for children to discuss sex with their parents. Parents have devised elaborate surveillance of adolescent sexualities. This includes curfews, monitoring of movements and monitoring all communications. In some cases this includes monitoring dressing and friends. As one parent puts it:. You need to be vigilant especially with girls. I monitor everything including dressing to ensure they are not getting into the wrong things. I have timed all the distances from school and shops so they know that they will get punished if they come late from school or shops.

Everyone is in the house by five including my boys and no one is allowed outside except when we have evening church services. The sexual surveillance tends to be gendered in multiple ways. The controls of movement seem to mainly target girls and the parents gave various reasons that are in many ways characteristic of partriachial societies. One reason is that it is girls who fall pregnant thus the need to monitor and protect them from this.

Once the girl gets pregnant, she brings shame to the whole family. Another reason was that girls are easily swayed and influenced by friends and peers thus the need to ensure tight monitoring. This punishment is gendered in many ways. Boys do not in most cases meet the same fate though due to economic hardships most parents noted that even sons who have girls eloping are forced out of the house. Parents who participated in this study noted that they were poor communicators about sex with their children.

You warn them about early pregnancy and AIDS. Mothers what their daughters are doing are up. Girls are generally stigmatised when they fall pregnant outside wedlock and their mothers are largely blamed. In the focus group discussions it was clear that most women agreed that the mother is to blame when a girl is impregnated. One woman actually noted:. You get a bad name as a mother if your child gets impregnated out of wedlock. Women will start gossiping behind your back and many bad things are said about you.

It is even worse if you have a position in the church but with the increase pregnancies it is getting better. Now women understand that there is little you can do to control your children. Cultural and societal expectations tend to exonerate husbands because women are seen as responsible for raising and instructing girl children. School pregnancy, STIs and sexual education: Given the unanimous agreement by parents that young people are increasingly engaging in sex the participants where asked how they felt about teaching about and distributing condoms in schools. Adolescents usually engage in unsafe sexual practises because of a variety of reasons, which include lack of knowledge on proper, us of protection, lack of access to protection and for girls the lack of power to negotiate for condom use.

To ensure that they are engaging in safe sexual behaviours knowledge of proper use of condoms is vital. The government is implicit in adolescence sexual surveillance by punishing pregnant school going girls. In August , the Government of Zimbabwe amended the disciplinary code by granting maternity leave of up to three months, instead of automatic expulsion, for girls who fell pregnant during their school career. This decision was rescinded when parents and conservative groups including traditional leaders complained that this would promote promiscuity in schools.

According to Circular No. Schoolboys guilty of making their female counterparts pregnant would only be considered for readmission at another school after one year, as a sanction for misconduct. Parents who participated in this research were all against distribution of condoms and allowing pregnant girls to continue with schooling. One female parent argued that:. It is not good to have condoms in schools or to allow pregnant girls with other children. This will only promote children to engage in sex. With or without condoms in schools children are having sex but parents are unwilling to accept this reality and offer them options to practice it safely.

What Actually Happens When You Have An Abortion?

In the focus group discussions the parents showed stigma against pregnant girls in school. They called the girls immoral, loose and troublemakers who should not be around other children yet they thought boys who impregnate girls should remain in school. They argued that the boy has to continue with education so as to be able to care for the new family.

Asked whether any of the parents had children who had fallen pregnant at school, six said yes. When the government changed the law to allow pregnant girls there was widespread debate. As we all know, teens have sex, and sometimes the girl falls pregnant. Punishment for being sexually active for young girls in Zimbabwe is not in any corrective. It punishes young women who suffer stigma at different levels and their lives are transformed for good.

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Current laws punish not only the mother, but also the unborn child. It has been noted that female students have their own needs that must be accommodated, which, if not acknowledged at policy formulation level, might not be addressed at policy implementation level Chirimuuta, C. The right to education for all children, regardless of their condition, should be enshrined in national laws.

Another conservative group called Tsika Dzedu Our Culture claimed that it is taboo and unmentionable in African to allow unmarried girls to get pregnant, let alone promote it. All these debates deny adolescent sexual agency. They are based on a socially constructed belief that sex is only for adults. As such adolescent sex has to be suppressed, as it is dangerous for society. Adult anxiety on adolescent sex: Adolescent sexuality causes serious anxiety in adults. Many parents do not want to see their children as sexual beings. This asexualisation of children partly explains why discussions about sex within families remain a taboo.

Sex is a controversial and contested issue in that parents would want to keep their children far away from such talk. What is problematic is however is the emergence of new media and sexual images being saturated across all spaces. Even cartoons have scenes of kissing with mild but still powerful sexual innuendos. It is thus surprising to note the anxiety in most adults in Zimbabwe when openly discussing about sex.

One parent argued that:. Growing up sex was never a subject you discussed with your father. Even with your mother the discussions were about abstinence and pregnancy. We were never told about pleasure or of sex as fun. Our parents showed us that in our culture sex is private. Only girls who are about to be married are told secret and intimate details by their aunts. The majority of parents are not equipped to deal with the sexual realities of their children thus they bury their heads in the sand as a coping mechanism.

In a key informant interview, a social worker noted that:. In the vast majority of homes it is difficult to broach topic on sex. It is a taboo. Mentioning the word causes panic yet it is a reality we leave with everyday. Parents would want to believe their children are naive yet the truth is most children know about sex. Even at the national level any debates about sex tend to raise a public moral panic followed by an outcry about moral decadency. It is curious why sex causes such a reaction from the people who are practicing it. With fears for pregnancy and diseases, most parents are not comfortable with their children being sexually active.

Some parents are of the view that talking about sex to young people might encourage them to want to experiment and see how it feels. Parents construct their children as little kids who have no interest in sex. They are afraid of accepting that their adolescents are sexual beings. As Elliot noted in an interview:. This view was well articulated by most of the research participants who just refused to admit their own children are sexually active.

The foregoing discussion has shown how parents construct the sexuality of their adolescent children. Parents tend to have positive bias about their children and thus are unwilling to accept that their children can be sexuality active. Admitting that your child is sexually active is seen as admitting to being a bad parent who has failed in controlling their kids.

The irony is that the parents perceive that adolescents are increasingly becoming sexually active. Findings of the study highlight how communication about sex remains a complex and difficult undertaking in Zimbabwe. The authors acknowledge all the participants without whom this study would not have been possible. Citation: Chiweshe M, Chiweshe M. J Fam Reprod Health ; 11 3 : Europe PMC requires Javascript to function effectively. Recent Activity. Conclusion: The denial of youth sexuality has serious impacts on youths' access to information and ability to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

The snippet could not be located in the article text. This may be because the snippet appears in a figure legend, contains special characters or spans different sections of the article. J Family Reprod Health. PMID: Manase Chiweshe , Ph. Abstract Objective: To find out adult views on adolescent sexualities in Zimbabwe and how adults construct sexual cultures that deny adolescence access to sex. Introduction There is widespread believe in Zimbabwe based on cultural and religious norms, that sex is for adults 1. Parents in particular play a substantial role in the gender and sexual socialization of their children 4.

Materials and methods This paper is based on an exploratory research that was qualitative in nature seeking a grounded understanding of how parents make sense of adolescent sexuality. Results and discussion One thing stood out from our findings. One elderly female parent noted: Long ago it used to be our children buried us but now we are burying them. According to the nurse interviewed: Sex is not for children. A traditional healer noted that: Sex is such an important part of African cultures.

He noted that: Parents know what their children are doing. One of the parents indicated that: It is not possible to talk about sex openly with our children however we give them warnings about AIDS and pregnancy. When asked about this lack of information, a male parent answered that: How do you start talking to your daughter or son about sex? As one parent puts it: You need to be vigilant especially with girls.

One woman actually noted: You get a bad name as a mother if your child gets impregnated out of wedlock. One female parent argued that: It is not good to have condoms in schools or to allow pregnant girls with other children. One parent argued that: Growing up sex was never a subject you discussed with your father.

In a key informant interview, a social worker noted that: In the vast majority of homes it is difficult to broach topic on sex. Conclusion The foregoing discussion has shown how parents construct the sexuality of their adolescent children. Acknowledgments The authors acknowledge all the participants without whom this study would not have been possible. Conflict of Interests Authors have no conflict of interests. References 1. Mutema F. Sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in Zimbabwe. Issues Brief Alan Guttmacher Inst ; 3 :1—8. Parental knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards adolescent sexual reproductive health in Bulawayo.


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