For Kenya’s young, liberal women, sex has never been a taboo

Standardmedia.co.ke | By Moses Michira | Updated Sat, December 3rd 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3

Two in every three women had their first sexual encounter before attaining the age of 16, states a report in findings that will shock parents to school-going girls. Despite the high incidence of underage sex, nearly all respondents interviewed felt it was improper, a Nairobi-based research firm Consumer Insight has reported. Nearly 3,600 adults took part in the survey which also indicates that men would generally have sex much later than their female age-mates, but were more likely to falsely claim to have “conquered”. Holding that the findings are an accurate depiction of the present generation, girls in secondary school could be engaging in sex with older partners while their male peers were less likely to be sexually active. Parents are already agonising over activities their children are engaging in, especially during the present long holidays after reorganisation of school terms by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Holding that the findings are an accurate depiction of the present generation, girls in secondary school could be engaging in sex with older partners while their male peers were less likely to be sexually active. Parents are already agonising over activities their children are engaging in, especially during the present long holidays after reorganisation of school terms by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000225579/for-kenya-s-young-liberal-women-sex-has-never-been-a-taboo

Underage sex Ruth Oigo, a consultant at Consumer Insight, said findings of the study carried out between September and October confirmed that half of Kenyan children engaged in underage sex. “Sixty-seven per cent of women told us they had sex before 16, even though only six per cent felt that was the ideal age,” Ms Oigo said while explaining the findings. Younger people interviewed in the survey were found to be significantly more liberal and were more sexually mature, the study said. Same-sex relationships were found to be normal and more readily acceptable for people below the age of 35 as “they were less-bothered about men going out with men”. Slightly more men, at eight per cent, felt it was proper to engage in sex below 16 — the age of consent in the United Kingdom, even though more than half of the male respondents confessed to have tried it. Oigo said the actual proportion of men who had had underage sex could actually be lower, given the tendency in exaggerated machismo. Divergence between the ideal and actual age for debut sex suggests that Kenyan youth are well-informed of the dangers of underage and premarital sex, even though most chose to ignore the perils. It could also absolve parents from accusations of being irresponsible in bringing up their children. The findings could compound concerns among parents, who often have to be away at work from home for long hours while their children remain at home. The situation has worsened now that the option of holiday tuition as a means of keeping them occupied was removed from the table. But in a rather surprise finding that might defy popular perception, children in urban areas were better-cushioned from exposure to early sex than their rural counterparts. Pregnancy examination And as a possible pointer, 20 students of a girls school with a population of only 400 in Mt Elgon Constituency were found to be pregnant, in a single pregnancy examination earlier this year. All the affected girls had not attained the age of 18. Findings contained in Consumer Insights’ report mirror an earlier research that found that a third of teenagers are engaging in sex before turning 15. The report, National Adolescent and Youth Survey 2015; released earlier in the year also blamed teachers and boda boda riders as the worst abusers of young school girls by wooing them into early sex. “They (teachers and riders) are to blame for early pregnancy cases. They are the main reason for school drop-outs and early marriages,” the report read in part. And arising from unsafe sexual behaviour, 15 per cent of young women between the ages of 15 and 19 are already mothers and three per cent were pregnant with their first child.