Mothers Perception of Sexuality Education for Children
Sexuality education is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. It develops young people's skills so that they make informed choices about their behaviour, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It also equips children to face developmental challenges and empowers them against the ills of abuse, exploitation, unwanted pregnancies amongst others. Mothers who are the primary caregivers should be well informed about sexuality issues. The objective of the study is to determine mothers' perception of sexuality education in children, in Port Harcourt.
A structured, anonymous and selfadministered questionnaire, used as instrument for data collection, was distributed amongst a convenient sample of women attending a Christian women's convention in Port Harcourt.
One hundred and fifty eight women participated in the study. Most of them were married (80.4%), and belonged to the 30-49 years age bracket. Seventy one (44.9%) of the respondents had tertiary education. Over 80% agreed that children needed sexuality education but only 15 women (9.5%) had a good knowledge of the concept of sexuality education. One hundred and eleven (70.2%) believed it was the responsibility of both parents to educate their children and over 70% acknowledged that the home was the best place for such education. 64 (40.5%) believed that 6-10 years was the ideal age for starting sex education while 49% thought that the ideal age was 11-15 years. 65% of respondents discussed sexuality issues with their children at least occasionally,
the content mostly involved description of body parts and reproductive organs. The average age of menarche amongst respondents was 14.0. One hundred (63%) of the women had prior knowledge of menstruation before menarche. About half of them had received information from their mothers. The study highlights the need for enlightenment of women on sexuality education to enable them empower their children against the ills of child abuse.