More than 70% of grade 11 and 12 pupils who admitted to being sexually active in an Eastern Cape survey do not practise safe sex, it was reported.
The Saturday Dispatch in East London surveyed 500 teenagers from schools across the city. The children were asked to fill in a questionnaire. Their answers showed that 51% were sexually active and, of those, 72% were practising unsafe sex.
Aubrey Lackay, principal of John Bisseker Secondary School in Parkside, was quoted saying that teenage pregnancy was so common he was allowing teen mothers to breastfeed at school. The problem was caused by social ills in the area, with broken homes playing a big role, he told the Saturday Dispatch.
“Their homes are small and they get to see adults having sex and they want to try it themselves."
A school could teach sex education, but what happened outside school reflected what was happening in society, he said.
Alphendale High School teacher Wendy Minnie said peer pressure to become sexually active was rife. According to the survey 18% of respondents felt pressurised to have sex.
“It's a bad situation. The pupils who are sexually active call others names like tin-womb because they do not have kids yet and this puts them under unnecessary pressure,” Minnie told the newspaper.
“We preach abstinence all the time, but we are losing the fight.
(Sapa, May 2012)
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