The Kenya National Bureau Of Statistics launched the Kenya Demographic & Health Survey 2022 report which has sparked conversations in different settings and contexts. Our discussion for this week’s Coffee bar Tuesday focused on the report launched specifically on sexual partners. The report indicates that the average number of sexual partners among Kenyan men is 7.4 and 2.3 for Kenyan Women in their lifetime.
The report also indicates that 35 percent of men reported having sex in the last 12 months with a person who neither was their wife nor lived with them, and 68% of these men reported using a condom during their last sexual intercourse with such a partner. In terms of age, those aged 20-24 had the highest percentage (5.8%) of sexual partners, followed by those aged 15-29 and 30-39.
Do you think the numbers are low or high? Do you think the report touches on Kenyan context (both city and urban set up?? These were some of the guiding questions during the discussion with the majority feeling that the report wasn’t true and was somehow biased. A participant pointed out that the numbers should be higher than the ones quoted. Other participants felt that the study was conducted by a woman and that is why the numbers on women are low. Supporting his opinion, he cited that in this era, women have men for every need and want such as rent, hair, foodstuffs, makeup, treats, shopping and accessories.
”You will get a lady who has all her needs sorted by men. She has different men for rent, foodstuffs, accessories, treats and so much more. That study was not done in a city set up.” Participants said
A participant felt that women who were interviewed were not purely honest unlike their counterparts who were brutally honest. The numbers on women should be more than is being quoted on the survey report. In a survey of more than 20 participants, half thought the information shared seemed abstract. With men also being at the center of the topic, a participant pointed out that the number of sexual partners that men have should be more than 7. Adding that there are known men who have more than sexual partners.
With all the statistics being shared out there, we are not drawing enough attention to the number of teenage pregnancies, the number of new HIV infections or the number of cases of sexual and gender based violence. Majority of these are as a result of having multiple sexual partners. Old men are having sex with small girls and old women are sleeping with small boys. Young people are also having multiple sexual partners due to different reasons.
We asked what could be the reason why people are having multiple sexual partners and here are some of the reasons raised: –
- Sex is too available much available
- Sex nowadays used for leisure
- People no longer value relations
- Poverty – Having to cater for basic needs
- People are looking for satisfaction and exploring sexual fetishes
- There are a lot of trust issues,
- People are idle and sex is the only thing to keep them busy
- Contraceptives are too available
- Availability of PREP
- Peer Pressure
In the end we all agreed some of these “reasons” can be overlooked but they can lead to consequences that will hunt you in future. Illiteracy, childhood marriage, sex addiction, Hiv/STI infections, unwanted pregnancies, cycle of poverty continue and it can lead to mental health issues. As a country, there’s a lot we need to do to curb the increasing numbers in teenage pregnancies, HIV infections and childhood marriages. As young people, we must change the current trending and set good example for ourselves and the coming generation. See you on Tuesday!