South African teachers' reflections on the impact of culture on their teaching of sexuality and HIV/AIDS
Culture, Health and Sexuality
GLOBINF Centre for Prevention of Global Infections, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Adolescent Health Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Research Centre of Health Promotion, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Health Promotion Unit, School of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa; Children's Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
This paper aims to explore South African Life Orientation teachers' perception and practice of teaching HIV/AIDS and sexuality in a cultural perspective. We aim to investigate how teachers respond to perceived cultural differences between the local community and the content of their teaching. Data were collected through interviews with teachers who taught students in grades 8 or 9 in public high schools. The teachers expressed differing viewpoints regarding the rationale for teaching about HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Many teachers saw teaching these topics as a response to declining moral standards, while others suggested that they were teaching issues that parents failed to address. The teachers were more concerned about young people's sexual behaviour than about preventing HIV/AIDS. They perceived that cultural contradictions between what was taught and local cultural values were an issue to which they needed to respond, although they differed in terms of how to respond. Some took an adaptive approach to try to avoid conflicts, while others claimed the moral neutrality of their teaching. Teaching about sexuality was perceived to be challenging in terms of language and communication norms. Teaching about HIV/AIDS was perceived as challenging because teachers often needed to convince students about the reality of AIDS.
Adult; Cultural Characteristics; Female; HIV Infections; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Male; Safe Sex; Sexual Behavior; South Africa; Teaching