Leave No One Behind In Sex Ed: Stepping Over The Breach

About The Event

“…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.


Dr Osmo Kontula

Osmo Kontula, PhD is a Finnish sociologist and sexologist employed as a Research Professor at the Population Research Institute of the Family Federation of Finland.

Dr. Kontula specializes in sex research and sexual science. His research topics have included national and international trends in sexual values and patterns and sexual lifestyles and sexual relationships. He has conducted several national sex surveys in Finland since the 1990s and national surveys of sexuality education. In his dissertation he studied sexual initiation.

Osmo Kontula has authored over 400 publications, of which more than 50 are books authored or edited by him. 40 of books are of sexual issues. He has presented his research at more than 100 scientific conferences worldwide.

He is a Member of WAS Advisory Committee and a Chair of WAS Sexuality Education Committee. He is also a member of WAS Scientific Committee. Kontula is a Past President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sex Research (JSR).


Jacques van Zuydam

Jacques van Zuydam is the Head (chief director) of the National Population Unit of the government of South Africa.

His work entails integrating population concerns into the programs of national government departments, provinces and local governments in South Africa, along with forging relationships with the international community and NGOs to support population and development in South Africa.

His responsibilities also include population and development research, and to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the country’s population policy. He regularly represents South Africa on international population affairs in the United Nations, African Union, the Partners in Population and Development (PPD), BRICS and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Jacques has a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Sociology, and is a Fellow of the international Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Programme.


Adenike Esiet

Adenike Esiet is Co-founder and Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated (AHI), a non-profit dedicated to advancing young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Nigeria. She is a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Nigeria, and she worked as a journalist with The Guardian Newspapers from the mid to late 1980s.

Over the last 30 years, she has contributed to building AHI from an idea into a vibrant organization that combines community based programming with national policy advocacy for adolescent sexual health and rights. She played a key role in mobilizing national consciousness and action for the development and adoption of the National Family Life and HIV Education (FLHE) curriculum currently being used in Nigerian schools.

She has also served on Nigeria’s National Adolescent Health Working Group, the International Working Group on Sexuality and Social Policy, and the UNESCO-convened team of experts who developed the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. Esiet is a recipient of the Ashoka International Fellowship for Public Innovators and the inaugural Joan B. Dunlop Award for her outstanding work to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents in Nigeria.


Jun 09 2021


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

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