Hello everybody, welcome back. On Saturday, I found myself talking to some people concerning the abortion ban in Alabama. My take on the topic is no man should have the power to make such a decision. Also, everywoman should be given the opportunity to decide if she wants a baby or not. The conversation around the abortion ban paved way for us to talk about sex education. We all confirmed that our parents just don’t give sex education (the conversation was between Nigerians by the way). I can’t speak for others in depth, but I know my parents have never had the talk with me. It is very rare to find a child that isn’t curious, I remember when I was younger, I wanted to know everything. Whether you like it or not as a parent you will have to deal with the famous “where did I come from question”. How will you approach the topic? If you are not feeding their curious minds with the right information, they will turn to other sources to learn more. This is scary because, you can control the information you give but you can’t control those external sources.
I think there’s a silent agreement among our parents to ensure they never give the sex education talk. My theory is that they think, if they have the conversation, they are endorsing premarital sex. it is like they expect their kids to just know these things. As a parent, you should be prepared to educate your kids, not just the females. There is an alarming increase on rape crimes, and this is can be because, most times emphasis on sex education is usually on the female. The sensible thing is to have the talk with both male and females. I remember in my secondary school; they will gather the female students occasionally and give a very mundane talk on how we should compose ourselves as girls and keep ourselves till marriage. They basically fed us with unnecessary information but failed at having the sex education talk during those “talks”. As if talking about condoms and birth control pills would have corrupted our minds.
Honestly, one thing I have noticed is we Nigerian’s are too hypocritical in our ways. I asked my cousin, who is in secondary school here in London, if they have ever had sex education talk at her school. Not only did they talk to them, they taught them how to properly wear a condom, everyone got to wear the condom on fake fingers. Free condoms were also distributed after. The condoms were not distributed to encourage the teenagers to be sexually active, but to practice safe sex if they ever find themselves in that situation.
I like the way England takes a conscious effort to educate people, either at the Pharmacists, Hospitals, Schools etc. There are no cultural and religious bias that hinders you from gaining access to this information. This way, you are equipped with vital knowledge on how to care for yourself properly in terms of practising abstinence, safe sex, dealing with pregnancies, abortions, stds etc. No matter how much Nigerians want to be in denial for, people will always have sex before marriage, have marital affairs or keep more than one sexual partner. So why treat sex like it is a stigma or taboo when you can admit it is happening. The fact is, we must admit it is happening daily, even among teenagers and give necessary information needed to reduce risks like abortions, STDs and STIs. I’ve heard stories where nurses and pharmacists’ shame young girls who try to buy condoms or pills in Nigeria. An average Nigerian isn’t open minded to relearning and unlearning things. In a country like Nigeria where abortion is illegal, you will expect that sex education is well propagated as often as possible but sadly that isn’t the case.
Though our parents are not bold enough to have these conversations with us, I sincerely hope upcoming parents and parents in this generation are taking the right approach, which is talking. Don’t let mediocrity and hypocrisy rob you from sharing these aspects of your children’s life. It isn’t enough to turn a blind eye towards sex education and hope they don’t indulge in sexual activities, it is your responsibility to educate the kids, schools will try but it won’t be enough. With all being said, I urge everybody reading this post, to promote sex education. I know, the topic might be quite awkward to discuss with younger ones but if you search the internet, there are guides on how to have the talk. personally, I want to have an open relationship with my kids and talk about everything with them when I eventually have kids. It shouldn’t be limited to your kids alone. If you are fortunate enough to talk to other young ones, seize the opportunity to educate them.
Did your parents or any adult have a sex education talk with you? How old were you and how often did they approach the topic? Pls leave your comments below. See you all next week.