Last week, after publishing my blog on why we should talk to our teens about sex, I got a couple of impressive comments.
Many agreed that we needed to talk to our children about sex but a few raised concerns over the future of our kids if they are ‘armed’ with sex information. One reader was particular in saying the world will run amok if kids have even the tiniest access to sex information.
“They will now know how to navigate the safe side of sex and simply do it every time and everyday” she said.
It really shows the two rhetorical extremes in the sex debate – the moralists and the realists.
The moralists raise the argument that sex is a preserve for adults. Infact, married people. They argue that introducing children to sex education at any age is a downside in the preservation of morals. They also argue that discussing contraceptives openly has huge negative side effects to abstinence, a virtue all young children should strive to.
The realists on the other hand say the talk on sex should be as public as any other information available. They challenge the notion that conservative moralists have that sex should be a preserve for adults. They also task the moralists to drum up alternate solutions to fight the increasing teenage pregnancies in the world.
The world can nolonger disguise or hide behind the fact that kids as young as 14 years are having active sexual lives. This activity is born of genetical growth and sometimes influences from the highly sexualized world that we all leave in.
Posters of advertisements are laden with half-naked women, music videos – those that get the famous airplay, visualize video vixens engaging in sexual-arousing activity. The music lyrics, mostly from Jamaican songs which are popular at the time are literal intuitions of sex. Outside those forums, our children are exposed to unrated movies, uncensored social media platforms and unregulated sites of pornography. At worst they will pick it off a sex tape in their whatsapp thread!
The chances are that the influence from society will be the driving factor in the teenage pregnancy issue.
So are we going to wait for a government policy on this?
I have read, a popular Op-Ed written by American journalist David Brooks ‘The Stem And The Flower’ in that article, he argues that government is, in most cases, a slow trudge. We have seen that happen quite a lot in the Ugandan government. Policy formulation and adaptation takes a long bureaucratic trend. While that trend is almost close for teenage pregnancy, a couple of measures can be relied on for now.
The Red cross runs 8 youth corners. The corners are in normal day speak, playgrounds. While there, the youths play games like football, basketball and netball but also most importantly link up with health workers to talk sex. Good news is, the corners work. Bad news is, they are only in 8 districts of the country.
Gladly, the talk on sexuality can be shared by both you and me, it doesn’t require policy, talk to a teenager today about sex and who knows, you might have saved an unwanted pregnancy from occurring.
So, will youths have more sex if and when they are told about it? Your guess is as good as mine. Shall we have a more safe youth on issues of sexuality, my bet is yes.