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Experts blame parents as adolescents drift into pornography

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Many Ugandan adolescents are drifting into pornography, as a result of limited publicity about age appropriate information at health facilities and schools and an increase in absentee parents.

Counsellors, teachers and health experts fear that as parents keep a distance between them and their children, social media, fantasy novels and technology gets them hooked on pornographic content, and as such, many young girls and boys have fallen prey to the fulfilment of sexual fantasies.

The experts who were attending an adolescent health symposium in Kampala yesterday morning expressed worry that not enough is being done to restrict what should or shouldn’t be accessed especially on the internet.

Susan Ajok from the Straight Talk Foundation said this should be blamed on limited adult involvement in the growth of their children.

She said that in order to be able to guide adolescents through this stage where they can’t easily make an appropriate judgement on what’s good or not for them, parents need to first understand what their roles can be even if they are largely absent.

Dr Sabrina Kitaka, a Senior Pediatrician who runs the adolescent health clinic in Mulago hospital said that they opted to find parents in their own spaces after realizing that parent involvement in adolescent growth was too low. She says that initially when they resolved to conduct a workshop for parents, only six showed up.

Dr Kitaka noted that 52 per cent of the over 40 million Ugandans are below 15 years of age which makes it key to have programmes that help them access properly sieved information. She gave an example of adolescents who live with HIV who face high levels of stigma and many of them find problems disclosing to their partners.

“At Baylor, we are seeing children born with HIV growing. In fact, our oldest is 34-years now but you know we need to continue talking to them giving them information because they will now want to marry”, she said, adding that they are establishing that while adolescent boys living with the virus are freely disclosing their status to their girlfriends, the girls are not.

For her, the only way through which girls can access age-appropriate information is through NGOs and peer education because generally, especially on the internet and in schools, there’s a lot of information especially now with the absence of a framework to guide what should or shouldn’t be accessed at different levels.



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