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Bates College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


This study examines the systems by which adolescent boys receive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education in Kapchorwa, Uganda. Teenage pregnancy and early marriage are epidemics that hinder Uganda’s development. As girls have consistently been the targets of interventions, this study considers how boys are included in these strategies. The objectives of the study are three-­‐fold: to research the ways that boys receive SRH education, to identify the successes and shortcomings of these education systems, and to seek ways for these systems to be improved.

The study was carried out over a six-­‐week period in the spring of 2015. The researcher held qualitative interviews with two teachers and two student focus groups at each of three secondary schools within Kapchorwa District. The researcher then taught a brief lecture on SRH at each school in which students were given the opportunity to ask anonymous questions about sex. Three focus groups were also held with adult community members. Additionally, interviews were conducted with the a representative from the Ministry of Education, the Kapchorwa District Education Officer and three NGOs that operate in the Kapchorwa area: Kapchorwa Child Development Center, the Women’s Protection Center, and Reproductive Health Uganda.

SRH education was found to be inconsistent and spread thinly among many sources. The majority of education emphasized abstinence, and gave boys specific messages that may not be entirely effective in teaching them to respect females’ sexual autonomy, nor in how to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy. Recommendations are made on how these systems may be improved to better benefit boys, girls, and the community as a whole.


African Studies | Community-Based Research | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Health and Physical Education | Medical Education | Public Health Education and Promotion


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