Straight talk for youth: Ugandan girls and boys learning to escape gender stereotypes.

William K Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


"Straight Talk," a monthly newspaper produced by Uganda's Ministry of Information, provides advice to young people about sexuality, relationships, and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The tabloid is inserted in the daily government newspaper, "New Vision," which has a circulation of 40,000; another 30,000 copies are distributed to secondary schools and nongovernmental organizations. The newspaper began in 1993 as part of the media campaign of Safeguard Youth from Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Each issue publishes articles by and interviews with young people, dozens of letters from readers, and columns by health care professionals. The content seeks to demystify sex, challenge gender-based stereotypes, and encourage real friendships between girls and boys. There is strong peer support for postponing sex. A recent issue included a contest for the best story about sexual boasting and pressure. One article noted that boys and girls learn separate rules of sexual behavior that resemble scripts in a play. Another analyzed passages from popular novels depicting men as strong and forceful and women as helpless and submissive. The publication also encourages dialogue between parents and children about sex. Many schools have formed clubs that discuss issues raised in the publication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-33
Number of pages2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1995


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