Sex, Sexuality and Communication

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In South Africa, educators and parents, to a large extent, rely on educational sexuality programmes to teach adolescents and young adults the relevant aspects of sex and sexuality. To my mind these programmes do not manage to address the understanding and interpreting of sexual language adequately. Most of these programmes focus on the biological, physical and social aspects of sex, paying attention to the “mechanics” of sex, the possible dangers of sex, effective protection against unwanted pregnancies, and Sexually Transmitted Infections, but are silent on the language of sex and sexuality and also lack clear guidance on the interpretation and conveying of sexual interest. This article explores the perceptions of a sample group of 115 first year students registered for the Baccaulareus Educationis degree in primary school teaching at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. A qualitative approach was used as research method and the research data was interpreted by means of a thematic analysis.


Keywords: Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Language, Communication
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Christina Jordaan

Senior Lecturer, Further Education and Training
Educational Psychology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

I received my Baccalaureus Artium degree in Social Work at the end of 1979. I started working at the Department of Welfare at the beginning of 1980. I always had a special affinity for young children and adolescence and started working as a school social worker for the Department of Education at the beginning of 1985. Because of my involvement with schools, education and children in general I decided to persue my further studies in 1996. I applied for permission to do my Masters degree in Education, because of my experience in education and the field of education. I was admitted to register for a Masters Degree in education in May 1996. The aim of my research was an investigation into the impact and effect of sexuality educational programmes on adolescents. Due to the extend of my research the Higher Degrees Committee at the NMMU decided to up-grade my Masters degree to a Doctoral degree and during April 1999 my PhD was conferred upon me. I stated working at the NMMU on a full-time bases during January 1999 as a lecturer. My main interests are child development, Life Skills and Life Orientation, HIV and AIDS. I have extensive training as HIV/AIDS facilitator and holds an international certificate as Master Trainer for the Quest Skills for Adolescence programme. I am currently a senior lecturer at the NMMU and is the programme coordinator for the Post Grade Certificate in Education. I am currently undertaking research in political and cultural perspectives on homosexuality.

Ref: L09P1503