“Squeezed oranges?”: Xhosa secondary school female teachers in township schools remember their learning about sexuality to reimagine their teaching sexuality education

  • Nomawonga Msutwana NMU
  • Naydene de Lange NMU
Keywords: teaching of sexuality education


Several concurrent and complex issues seem to influence the teaching of sexuality education in South African schools. Studies have shown that teachers believe they can teach the subject as they have the content knowledge of sexuality education, but experience discomfort when they actually begin the task. We were therefore interested in understanding their perspectives on their own learning about sexuality within their Xhosa culture. Working with 9 purposively selected female Xhosa teachers from 4 secondary schools in townships in Port Elizabeth, we used participatory visual methodology, located within a critical paradigm, generating data with them through drawing. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings show that the women teachers largely learnt about sexuality through piecing together the ‘puzzle’ of limited information from various quarters; through strict rules and fear; through own mistakes and through shame. This remembering facilitated ideas to rethink and reimagine sexuality education, drawing the value-laden Xhosa cultural teachings about sexuality into contemporary sexuality education. The participatory visual research process enabled a deep and open engagement, and in more than one way the claiming back of power, demonstrating a way to engage today’s Xhosa adolescents on matters of sexualit

Author Biographies

Nomawonga Msutwana, NMU
Naydene de Lange, NMU
Research Articles