An Investigation of the Church’s Response to Premarital Sex: With Specific Reference to Rugyeyo Archdeaconry, Diocese of Kinkiizi of the Anglican Church of Uganda (2013-2023)

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Uganda Christian University
This study aimed at investigating the church’s response to premarital sex with specific reference to Rugyeyo Archdeaconry, Kinkiizi Diocese of the Anglican Church of Uganda. The study was guided by the following objectives: finding out the causes of premarital sex in Rugyeyo Archdeaconry, examining the effects of premarital sex in Rugyeyo Archdeaconry and establishing the Church’s response to the problem of premarital sex in Rugyeyo Archdeaconry, Diocese of Kinkiizi. The descriptive research design was used: both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were utilized. Data was collected using a questionnaire and interviews with the teenagers, their parents, the Church leaders (the Clergy and the Lay Readers). The Probation Officer and some Police Officers in Rugyeyo Archdeaconry, Diocese of Kinkiizi were also interviewed. The causes encompass socio-economic disparities, peer pressure, lack of awareness, emotional vulnerabilities, and external influences, reflecting the intricate interplay of various factors driving teenagers towards premarital sexual relationships. The effects range from early marriages with potential developmental setbacks, increased abortions and health risks, stigmatization, high birth rates with fatherless children, high school dropouts, to loss of self-respect, and exacerbated poverty. These effects emphasize the urgent need for holistic interventions that can support education, healthcare, empowerment, and emotional well-being. The Church's responses highlight a multi-dimensional approach encompassing spiritual guidance, education, counseling, empowerment, community engagement, and policy advocacy. In conclusion, these findings collectively emphasize the importance of tailored, collaborative efforts that address the root causes, mitigate the far-reaching effects, and create a nurturing environment where teenagers can make informed, responsible decisions about their relationships and sexual health. Finally, the study recommended implementing comprehensive sexual education programs to provide teenagers with holistic knowledge and life skills. It suggests integrating practical tools with spiritual guidance through workshops and counseling, promoting responsible decision-making. Collaboration with local authorities is advised to ensure accessible healthcare services, reducing health risks. Community awareness campaigns should challenge stigmatization, while employment opportunities and vocational training can address economic pressures.
Masters dissertation.