The Influence of Catholic Theology of Sexuality on Teenage Girls in Njoro Deanery, Nakuru County, Kenya
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The main objective of the study was to investigate why the Catholic Church teenage girls in Njoro Deanery become pregnant yet a lot of efforts have been put in teaching them the right moral values. The guiding principle was the disconnect between the theory and practice of the professing Catholic teenage girls who become pregnant. The researcher assessed approaches used by the Church to disseminate the Catholic Theology of Sexuality to the teenage girls in Njoro Deanery, Nakuru County. Relevant literature was reviewed based on the objectives. It was found that various scholars have not addressed what brings about the disconnect between what the teenagers are taught and why they indulge in premarital sex. The study was guided by Kohlberg‟s (1958) theory of Moral Development. Kohlberg uncovered three levels of moral thinking and judgments each with two stages. These stages were pertinent in finding out whether the sexuality morals disseminated by the Church have helped the teenagers in their moral formation. The study employed descriptive study design. This design was suitable in collecting the participants‟ opinions and attitudes on the teachings of the Catholic Theology of Sexuality, effectiveness of the approaches used by the Church to disseminate the CTS, and the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches used to disseminate the CTS to teenage girls. Purposive and random sampling methods were used to select participants. The researcher used descriptive survey design. Oral interviews, focus group discussions and analysis of documents from libraries were used to collect data. There were 189 participants in the study. Based on the objectives of the study, overall data were collected, analyzed, interpreted and discussed in the light of Kohlberg‟s (1958) Moral Development Theory. Findings from the study revealed that the dissemination of the Catholic Theology of Sexuality has been hampered by: the moralizing agents (especially Catechists, YP and FLEP teachers) lack of training in theology; poor teaching methodologies such as lack of discussion, parents‟ lack of time and shying away from discussing sexuality issues. The findings have been used to recommend that: the Church should appoint persons of integrity to implement sexuality programmes; training of moral agents; programmes on sexuality to involve teenagers in discussions and role-taking; and the Church to expand Sexuality Education programmes beyond the Magisterium by liaising with other stakeholders in finding ways of inculcating the right moral values to both the Church-going and non-Church-going teenagers. These new approaches will go a long way in minimizing teenage pregnancies among teenage girls in Njoro Deanery.