Girls aged between 12 and 18 are still largely unaware of the negative consequences of sex on their reproductive systems.
This was contained in the Sister for Sister Baseline Survey by the Afrikids; a child rights organisation.
A series of questions were asked related to general information on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). They included the knowledge of the respondents on issues of puberty, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), abstinence, peer pressure on sexual behaviours, relationships, and preventive measures.
The survey found that almost half (42 percent) of the respondents get their information from school teachers followed by their mothers and siblings with 38 percent and 3 percent respectively.
2 percent of the respondents got the information from films and videos.
In the survey, it was found that 28 percent of the respondents do not know the age at which a boy can get a girl pregnant, 16 percent mentioned 18 years and above and 32 percent mentioned 15 years and above as ages when boys become fertile.
While 32 percent of respondents hit the nail on the head by saying that girls can become pregnant from the age of 12, 15 percent of the respondents thought that they could only become pregnant once they turned 18 years and above. 10 percent of the girls who took part in the survey did not know the age at which a girl could become pregnant.
The survey was conducted to help stakeholders understand the root cause of the spikes in teenage pregnancies in target districts [Bolgatanga Municipality and the Builsa North District], especially, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The survey targeted 98 JHS 1 and 2 girls in the two districts aged between 12 and 18 years.
Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper Show about the findings of the survey, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer at Afrikids, Daniel Kpabitey said while a huge number of the respondents are having sex or say they are ready for sex, they are unaware of the consequences of sex on their young reproductive systems.
“About 32.65 percent of the respondents say that their unreadiness for sex is not because they fear their parents but because they have not got the chance yet. If they get the opportunity, they will just do it. They [the girls] have gotten to a stage where they know about sex but they do not know about the complications that could arise out of the sex,” he said.
Mr. Kpabitey added that because of the lack of awareness about sex, some of the girls after the acts have serious regrets, explaining that “some of them, if they had the opportunity, they would change. Others, because they did not know about their menstrual cycles, they got pregnant. If they knew about their cycles, they would not have been pregnant. As for sex, they all enjoy having sex”.
Madam Cecilia Awiah, Project Coordinator at Afrikids explained that while the girls are curious and quite knowledgeable about sex, they are uninterested in learning about the ramifications.
“What they are interested in is sex and that is it. It is about having fun,” she said.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that girls have been vulnerable to sexual abuse because of some queer traditional and societal socialization coupled with the lack of information abuse sexual abuse and how to prevent same.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana