The perceptions and attitudes of boys and girls towards schoolgirl pregnancy at 'Mampota High School in Berea, Lesotho.
This study explores perceptions and attitudes of boys and girls towards schoolgirl pregnancy at 'Mampota high School in Lesotho. No policy exists in Lesotho concerning school girl pregnancy. While Lesotho espouses democratic rights to all, pregnant schoolgirls continue to be excluded from the school system. In this era this does not only discriminate but also impinges on one of the fundamental rights of girls, the right to education. Pregnant girls continue to drop out of school because of the negative perceptions and attitudes of teachers and other students even in countries where expulsion is outlawed. Although these attitudes reflect myths and stereotypes, they are not illusions. They remain powerful and are a major driving force behind pregnant girls dropouts. They reinforce the stereotypical construction of gender and work to marginalise and disempower young girls. These perceptions and attitudes sentence girls to a life of subservience and reduce their life chances both economically and socially. Focus group interviews and questionnaires were used examine the attitudes of boys and girls towards schoolgirl pregnancy at MHS. The findings suggest that both boys and girls construct gender in ways that discriminate against pregnant schoolgirls, but girls as more prejudiced than boys towards pregnant schoolgirls. A good sign emerging from the study is that not all boys and girls take this position and this points to the possibility of making the school a safer place for pregnant school girls.