“…sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you very much” – Margaret Atwood
The topic of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has long provoked a moral panic about preserving the innocence of the young. We have worried that candid conversations about sex, bodies and relationships will fill young minds with explicit material they are unready for and create a sexually permissive culture in which young people engage in dangerous experimentation. This panic is often fuelled by religious and cultural beliefs which appear incompatible with the provision of CSE. Yet CSE has also been hailed as crucial in realising sexual wellbeing for all, at individual and community levels. It is against this backdrop that proponents of CSE have long advocated for and worked to change minds and policies so that the youth and the adults that care for them are equipped as informed agents of their own sexuality. Where are we now with comprehensive sex education, what are the gaps and where should we be headed? Please join us for the latest thoughts on comprehensive sexuality education on the African continent and beyond.