Child sexual abuse is rampant in Zimbabwe. This can be attributed to several Zimbabwean ecosystemic factors that contribute to the gravity of the problem. This study explored these ecosystemic factors that affect Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Zimbabwe to determine appropriate strategies to apply so that CSE could be successfully be provided to early grade children in Zimbabwe. This qualitative study used an interpretivist paradigm which was underpinned by the ontological assumption that reality is not objectively determined, but socially constructed. In this study, a case study design was utilised, embracing a semi-structured interview and document analysis as data-gathering instruments. This study was informed by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theoretical framework. The main research question of the study was: What ecosystemic factors play a role in Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Zimbabwean schools? The secondary research questions were also as follows:
What are the teachers’ views and perceptions of teaching CSE in early grades?
How will parents perceive the introduction of CSE in the early grades?
In what way will the religious leaders perceive the introduction of CSE in the early grades as positive?
What are the cultural factors that impact on the teaching of CSE in early grades?
How do religious factors impact on the teaching of CSE in the early grades?
The participants were ten early grade teachers, ten parents with children in early grades and five religious leaders. The study revealed that CSE was not taught to early grade children due to several ecosystemic factors. There is no CSE curriculum for early grade children in Zimbabwe. The teachers are uncomfortable to teach the subject because of the diverse cultural and religious beliefs of the Zimbabweans. Some churches believe CSE defiles innocent children. Their doctrines prevent other churches from teaching EMC to children before they reach the age of 14. The study recommended the development of CSE for early grades by teachers in conjunction with parents and religious leaders and the training of teachers to change their attitude towards the teaching of the subject as well as to provide them with appropriate content and teaching strategies. The provision of teaching and learning resources on CSE for teachers and early grade learners was also recommended.