What Is Talked About When Parents Discuss Sex with Children: Family Based Sex Education In Windhoek, Namibia

  • NM Nambambi
  • P Mufune
Keywords: Families, Sex education, Parental-child communication, Namibia, HIV/AIDS


Among limits to school based sex education in Namibia are teachers that sexually harass children, unqualified Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) teachers and lack of teaching materials. Moreover out of school youths cannot access school based SRH education. Given these shortcomings, and in the context of HIV/AIDS, promoting parental-child communication about sex is an important measure to prevent HIV infections in Namibia. Parents are important because they support the emotional and physical development of children and greater parent–adolescent communication delays sexual initiation and reduces the number of sexual partners. The rationale for the paper is that there is need to know more about what parents and children discuss if the development of more effective communication about sexual issues between parents and their children as a tool for fighting HIV/AIDS is to be accomplished. Using qualitative data from Windhoek this study explored parents’ communication with their children about sex. Findings indicate such discussions are traditionally seen as a taboo but nowadays they do take place (especially with mothers) around menstruation, pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. There is resistance to more specific discussions around sexual intercourse and relationships. We conclude that there is a need for parents to be taught how to educate their children on sex.

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eISSN: 1118-4841