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Limitations of Using ‘fearful messaging’ in Promoting Safe Sex Practices amongst Sexually Active Youths: from an African Perspective

1Department of Social Work & Sociology, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

2Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. 2019, Vol. 3 No. 1, 25-28
DOI: 10.12691/jsa-3-1-4
Copyright © 2019 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Libati Mundia, Mwale Ackson. Limitations of Using ‘fearful messaging’ in Promoting Safe Sex Practices amongst Sexually Active Youths: from an African Perspective. Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. 2019; 3(1):25-28. doi: 10.12691/jsa-3-1-4.

Correspondence to: Libati  Mundia, Department of Social Work & Sociology, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia. Email:


Introduction: Informing people on the practice of safer sexual interactions has become important in promoting sexual health amongst sexually active individuals. Safe sexual behaviour involves the use of condoms, the avoidance of high-risk behaviours, asceticism, and an understanding of the partner’s previous sexual relationships. However, not so many sexually active people are aware of what sexual health entails. The promotion of ‘‘safe sex practices’’ therefore, is meant not only to decrease the negative effects caused by the sexuality of adolescents, but also to provide correct sexual knowledge, create positive sexual ideas, and practice safe sex behavior. Communication plays an essential role in informing people on safer sex practices, but the manner used to do so has greater impact on whether it will be accepted or not. Health education programmes tend to use fear and risk of disease as ways of promoting safer sex practices. Religion in terms of Christianity forbids sex outside marriage. Some parents enforce such religious views by instilling fear in their children by making them believe open expression about sexuality and even talking about sexuality in an open way is sinful, indecent and Sluttish. Methods: The paper used a desk review approach to gather relevant literature to help address the paper’s questions. The review focused on literature from around the world. The data used in this paper was accessed from journal articles and reports in social sciences, health and other relevant fields. Results: Results show that sex health education needs to be given to adolescents before they start to become sexually active, not afterwards. This means that education must begin in the early teenage years, and menarche provides a natural introduction to the subject. Stakeholders have to reach an acceptable sexual health education system that is appropriate for changing stages of sexual curiosity of their children and governments have to find suitable ways of placing restriction on access to sexual health education through the media. Conclusion: It can be concluded that, “fearful messages”, to a limited extent, can help reduce sexual activeness amongst youths but it has the danger of creating an environment of distrust amongst the youth towards authority figures such as parents, schools and formal health care centers. An unbalanced sex health education approach further has the danger of limiting youths’ knowledge of available safe sex practices and in the case of the girl child. Balanced safe sex education programmes thus have to be made available to adolescents and youths at varying stages of their physical, mental, social and psychological growth.