When I was a little boy, talk on sex was prohibited, infact, any activity that was at the slightest opportunity going to turn sexual would never be accepted in the house.
Like most of the Ugandan families, my family always thought of sex as a preserve for adults, it was immoral for kids to be seen talking about sex. Like most Christian families, my family only thought of sex as a preserve for married people. Unmarried people having sex were and still are, considered as sinners whose grave offence the religion refers to as fornication – Never mind that Jesus died for all our sins before ascending to heaven.
So the question lingers, are these conceptions right? The statistics beg to differ, kids are having sex. They are having it in school, on bedroom floors, in kitchen spaces, at the gardening days of school, in class, while standing, some while sleeping others even in staffroom walls and even teachers’ bedrooms.
They are having it and having it unprotected at that.
In Iganga, they are having it in exchange for fancies like chapattis and fish. In Kampala, for as low as 30,000shs for campus upkeep.
These kids believe; “If I have it while standing, I won’t get pregnant”, “I can jump up and down and the sperms pour out”
As a result of some of these misconceptions, 20,000 girls get pregnant every passing day because they simply don’t know how to navigate their way out of sex or even at the very worst negotiate for safe sex – so do the boys who impregnate them.
By the time you finish reading this blog, a teenage girl close to your neighborhood will be pregnant.
They will be pregnant because, at age 15 many teenagers are ripe for sex and have little to no sex education. They will be pregnant because a condom, a contraceptive method has not been pitched to them if they fail to abstain.
Godfrey Walakira, a Straight Talk official seems to agree with me on the suggestion that we need to get the kids young and teach them all they need to know about sex.
He adjusts his spects and gestures with vigour when expressing his point that there is not a single bullet that will kill off teenage pregnancy but informing the children about sex is a sure good way to start. Godfrey has seen it all; from Iganga girls getting pregnant for chapattis to children myth-talking about how they will not get pregnant if they have sex while standing.
He talks strongly against preserving the sex talk for adults only.
“The bitter reality is kids are going to have sex, whether we hide it or shield it from them”. In his line of profession as a counselor, he has seen more pregnant teenagers. His count for some of the schools with teen moms is 16 every year per school.
‘Sometimes its just curiosity that gets young girls into having sex”. He adds.
Walakira says that while the government has signed tens of treaties on teenage pregnancy, the implementation of those treaties is still lacking and as the world waits on the government, small measures like talking to children about sex should take shape.
“We need to empower girls and boys to negotiate their way out of sex or even at worst have safe sex. We must target the kids at their youngest and tell them all they need to know about sex” He suggests.
The UNFPA report suggests that 7.3 million girls get pregnant each year majorly due to the lack of information and lack of contraceptives.
The downside to kids getting pregnant is that many die in attempting illegal abortions, they are exposed to greater risks like HIV/AIDS, rejection from the society and the kids when born by teenage mothers and fathers suffer from lack of parental care and sometimes get abandoned.
And so I ask if our kids are having sex what is wrong with talking to them about contraception and other safe sex measures? It starts with you talking to the teenager next to you!