Understanding adolescent sexuality in the memories of four female Basotho teachers : an auto/biographical study.
Motalingoane-Khau, Mathabo Senkepeng Crescentia.
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This study explores the memories of adolescent sexual experiences of female Basotho science teachers in order to understand the influence of such experiences on their approach and handling of sexuality, HIV and AIDS education. My argument is that Basotho teachers arc facing a challenge of integrating sexuality, HIV and AIDS education into their teaching largely because of their lived sexuality experiences, which have been shaped institutionally and through societal expectations. An eclectic theoretical approach, with emphasis on feminism and involving Dewey's philosophies of experience informed the study. A qualitative research design was used. Data was produced through one-on-one semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and memory work with three participants. I was a participant-researcher and hence contributed my experiences to the study. Field notes and journal entries were used to supplement the data. The storied lives of the women teachers have been shared in their own words including the researcher's autobiography. The findings show that the adolescent sexual experiences of the women teachers have shaped their teacher selves within sexuality, HIV and AIDS classrooms. Some of their experiences have been educative while others have been mis -educative, and thus have led to some of the teachers not being able to handle sexuality education at all, while others only handle it partially. Several stumbling blocks have been identified that impede the effective facilitation of sexuality education in Lesotho classrooms. These include religion, traditional practices, lack of training and societal constructions of what is and is not permissible in schools. Challenging and disturbing these stumbling blocks and breaking the silence around sexuality issues among Basotho societies could be helpful in ensuring that 8asotho teachers gain the skill s necessary for them to facilitate the teaching of sexuality, HIV and AIDS education. Thus, Basotho children would be given the knowledge necessary for them to make informed decisions regarding their sexual behaviour.