Abstract Public health studies advocate the education of women, especially mothers, stating that educated mothers are highly likely to pass on their education to their children, as well as enforce in their homes healthy practices thereby protecting entire families from disease. Whereas this is usually true in regard to most infectious diseases such as influenza, it is not usually the case when it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV/AIDS. The research is based on a survey focus group discussion with high-school students (aged 17–19) and interviews with 10 high-school teachers in 1996. In 2003, data were collected from a focus group with fourth-form students and interviews with 4 teachers and 15 mothers whose daughters were in high school. The findings indicate that most educated mothers in urban Kenya experience socio-cultural and religious inhibitions which hinder them from providing meaningful sex-education to their pre-adolescent and adolescent daughters. This paper discusses these inhibitions and the steps educated mothers take to ensure that their daughters receive some form of sex-education.