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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Discourses of childhood innocence in primary school HIV/AIDS education in South Africa
Author:Bhana, DeeviaISNI
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:health education
sex education
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2989/AJAR.2008.
Abstract:This article draws from interview data to examine the meanings that primary school teachers in two race and class-specific contexts in greater Durban, South Africa, may give to children's right to sexual health information as a part of HIV/AIDS education. The article focuses on the regulation and production of childhood innocence by means of the ways the primary school teachers talked about sex in their HIV/AIDS education lessons to grade-four students. The author argues that discourses of childhood innocence regulate and limit the possibilities of conversing about sex in such a context. The dominant discourses construct children as 'too young to know' and displace children's right to sexual health information to older children, while stressing anxieties about parent hostility to sex education, which precludes effective coverage of sexual topics in HIV/AIDS education. Showing how race, class and culture are deployed in upholding innocence, the author contends that the notion of childhood innocence is embedded within the varying social contexts that make up the South African landscape. But, she suggests that an assumption that primary school teachers will engage with HIV/AIDS education while mediating information about sex in health promotion is simplistic. In conclusion, she proposes a need for ongoing theoretical and practical work with teachers and the need to build alliances with parents. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]