Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Don't hide sex information from your children - JASL

Published:Saturday | February 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Britney Brown (right) watches closely as Hannalisa Morgan-Williams, Targeted Interventions Officer for the Kingston’s Chapter at the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, demonstrates the correct way to use a condom. The occasion was the Safer Sex Week Mass Testing held at the Mandela Park in St Andrew yesterday.

Blind trust has been cited as a big hindrance to some young people protecting themselves sexually and otherwise, a trend Hannalisa Morgan-Williams believes needs to be reversed.

The targeted Interventions officer for the Kingston Chapter at the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life told The Gleaner that there has been improvement in the number of young people who are educating themselves on safe sex, but others simply don't care.

"Some young people are getting it, and how you put it to them will make a difference. You have those who are educated, and they will use a condom every time they have sex. But there are a few out there who work with trust. So they trust their partner, and no effort is made to make sure," she said during the Safer Sex Week Mass Testing held at the Mandela Park in St Andrew.

She also cautioned parents, caregivers and teachers not to hide information from children but to find age-appropriate and creative ways of being frank.

"I've been to junior-high schools, and sometimes, the teachers don't want us to talk about sex. They would want us to talk about the infections but avoid sexual conversations. After my talks, however, I usually give them the opportunity to ask any questions that they want to ask, and every question they ask is sexually related. It doesn't make sense we hide it," Morgan-Williams declared.

"I went to a school and a young man who was in grade four or three said, 'Miss, my father sey I must have nuff gal, and if I don't have a condom, use bag juice bag'. These are the realities our children face."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com