Young People’s Assessment of Their Sources of Information About Sexual Health in Rural and Urban Tanzania
The provision of accurate sexual health information is critical in enabling young people to avoid risky sexual behaviours. Research has identified various sources of sexual health information preferred by young people in various social contexts. There is, however, a paucity of research that has examined the quality of these sources from young people’s perspectives. This paper presents the results of a study that assessed the levels of satisfaction of current sources of information and knowledge about sexual health among young people in urban and rural Tanzania. The study involved 351 students aged 11-16 who completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of satisfaction about the quality of sexual health information they received from various sources. The results show that a majority of students (more than 70%) reported being most satisfied with sexual health information they had received from health workers and/or health facilities, followed by other family members and religious leaders. Less than 50 percent of students reported being satisfied with the quality of sexual health information they had received from their teachers. The paper concludes that, though there are a number of sources through which young people may be receiving sexual health information, the majority of them are not satisfied with the quality of information they get from many of such sources.
Key words: Parents, health workers, teachers, students, sexuality education, rural district, urban district.