Saturday, April 4, 2009

UNICEF Blunders on Homosexuality in Uganda

The New Vision of 4 April 2009 reported the following efforts by UNICEF and Health Link Worldwide to promote teen health.

The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF has come under sharp criticism for distributing in Uganda a teenagers’ guide book that says homosexuality is normal. Parents complain that the book misguides the youth; ethics minister Nsaba Buturo calls it a disaster, and education ministry officials say they know nothing about it.

Fifteen thousand copies of The Teenagers Toolkit, were printed in 2002 and distributed in over 30 districts, according to UNICEF. The book, produced in collaboration with the UK-based Health Link World wide, aims at educating 15-19 year olds about their sexual and reproductive health.

Whereas the book generally talks about adolescent sexual health and gives useful life skills, the section on same sex relationships on page 86 has drawn outrage from a section of parents.It reads: “Many people are sexually attracted to people of the same sex or attracted to both males and females. We are born with these feelings about who we like sexually, and who we do not like sexually – it is natural.”The section adds, “It is quite normal when you are growing up to fall in love with someone of your own sex. This can happen even though you may grow up to have sexual feelings for the opposite sex, marry, and have children.”It goes ahead to say, a peer educator can support someone who is not sure about their sexual feelings. The peer educators, says the book, can also support gay or lesbian teenagers who fear to tell others about their status. “The important thing is to be open minded and to show love and respect to all your friends.”

It is also mentioned that the only way anal sex is safe is for stopping pregnancy.

The book does not tell the teens about the health risks associated with sodomy. Family Life Network is directed by Stephen Langa has been at the forefront of the campaign to prevent the promotion of deviant sex amongst the youth. The New Vision reports him as saying,

"We parents are disgusted by these events. We feel terrible. How can our children be exposed to the gruesome mechanics of sex as expressed in this book?” asks Langa.Langa said as a parents’ network they want to have a say in the sex education curriculum for children. “They are teaching sex education without morals. What messages are being passed on to our children? It is poison and for poison to kill, it doesn’t have to be given in large amounts.”