Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Pt 2): Definition of Key Terms

As a parent, I don’t know where to begin.

This article, which is a part of the “Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age” series seeks to give you a pocket handbook of key terms that are used in the contemporary area of sex and sexuality. You can find the links to the other articles at the end of this article:

CSE: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a rights-based approach to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality—physically and emotionally, individually and in relationships (Guttmacher 2016).

Gender reassignment: A decision to undertake gender reassignment is made when an individual feels that his or her gender at birth does not match their gender identity. This is called ‘gender dysphoria’ and is a recognised medical condition (Cambridge).

Gender Transitioning: is the process of changing one’s gender presentation and/or sex characteristics to accord with one’s internal sense of gender identity

LGBTIQAA+: is an acronym of the expanding sexual identification and orientation in light of modern day human and sexual rights movements. L- Lesbian, G – Gay, B – Bisexual, T – Trans-sexual, I – Intersexual, Q – Queer, A – Asexual, A – Aromantic, + – the never ending fluid sexual orientations.

Sexuality: This is part of what it means to be a human being, and involves how one experiences and expresses themselves sexually. These necessarily include emotional, mental, social, physical and spiritual aspects.

Sexual Activity: or Sex includes sexual activity which includes the following: vaginal or penetrative sex, oral sex, inserting of objects or fingers into vagina or anus and masturbating.

Sexual Orientation and Identity: Sexual identity is part of how one identifies as a gendered person i.e. male or female. In modern terms, it has been expanded to inlcude identities such as bisexual or transexual. Orientation refers to the attraction emphasis of a person. Traditionally, males are oriented towards females and vice versa. In recent times, based on the human and sexual rights movements, these have been expanded to include being “straight”, gay, lesbian etc.

Rape: According to the Kenyan Sexual Offenses Act, the offence of rape is when a person (MOH 2014):

  1. Intentionally and unlawfully commits an act which causes penetration with his or her genital organs;
  2. The other person DOES NOT consent to the penetration; or
  3. The consent is obtained by force or by means of threats and intimidation of any kind.

This article has given you a few terms that are used in the conversation of sexuality. Now you don’t have to feel so inadequate in having the conversation with your teenager. The next article will explore the biblical view of sexuality and how that can help us to talk to our children on sexuality.

This article is part of a series in Parenting and Youth Sexuality. See below:

Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Part 1): The Kenyan Scene

Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Part 3): Biblical Guidelines

Parenting Teens in a Sexual Age (Part 4): Practical Tips


AIPD. Africa Institute of Policy Development. 2020.

Bible. ESV. Crossway. 2001.

Guttmacher. “Demystifying Data Toolkit” Sexual Rights. Guttmacher Institute. 2016.

KDHS. Kenya Demography and Health Survey. 2014.

MOH. Adolescent’s Package of Care in Kenya: A Health Care Provider Guide to Adolescent Care. Ministry of Health. 2014.

NCPD. “The State of Kenya Population”. National Council for Population Development. 2020.

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