Having attended a single sex Jane Tugume,( not real name) says there were rumors from time to time about certain girls that were suspected to be in a relationship with each other. Not any type of relationship though, the frowned upon gay relationships. She says a number of students were dismissed from the school because of this.
This is somewhat a common occurrence in single school with the most recent being the strike in Ntare school where students protested and wanted to beat up boys who were suspected to be in a relationship.
What the issue might be is, as time passes children have become more widely exposed to this kind of lifestyle.
Tugume says it has become increasingly rare for one to watch a television show where there isn’t a character that is in a relationship with someone of the same sex.
“There is always that one person in the show that is gay and with many children especially the adolescents who watch these shows religiously have become more exposed to this lifestyle,” she adds.
For girls, a close relationship may not seem too suspicious though, they can hold hands and hug each other for an extended time, share a bed without anyone necessarily raising eyebrows. However with the increased popularity of the trend, in single schools this has started to be questioned.
Some studies on sexuality and growing up show that when a child reaches the adolescent stage they may have romantic feeling to the opposite sex or the same sex even.
An article on kidshealth.com reads that during the teen years, people often find themselves having sexual thoughts and attractions. For some, these feelings and thoughts can be intense -and seem confusing. That can be especially true for people who have romantic or sexual thoughts about someone who is the same sex they are.
However Joseph Musaalo, a psychologist, says that people will have a stronger attraction to people of the opposite sex. The issue of attraction to the same sex is not mandatory or scientifically proven as a fact.
He adds saying that unlike poles will attract, and that has been proven whereas like poles will not. Furthermore he says that some of these practices in schools may come about due to peer pressure, when students stay together they learn from each other depending on the factors prevailing.
He adds that the environment that we live in usually might influence the lifestyle that we choose to live.
Musaalo also says that some students can be forced into such behavior, for instance when some students join a school in senior one they might encounter older students that are already involved in this kind of lifestyle.
“With the naivety at this age one can easily be influenced because they are seeking acceptance and can easily be oriented into these practices,” Musaalo says.
A book written by Ken R Well titled Teenage sexuality;Opposing views poses a question whether high school students should be taught about homosexuality in an “intellectually honest” or candid fashion, as just part of the sociological universe?
Sister Gladyce Kachope, headteacher, Immaculate Heart Girls SS agrees with this notion saying, it is important not to shy away from sensitizing students about issues of sexuality.
“I talk openly to my girls about homosexuality, we get students who are suspected of this kind of behaviors and we talk to them and advise them accordingly,”she says.
She sites that most of the students who engage in this practice are mostly those who join the school from other schools where they were previously practicing the same.
Adding to this she says, some of the students are not comfortable with this lifestyle and if they catch anyone or suspect anyone they will report the issue.