Too ideal maybe…but I have faith.
“If you sit with that boy, you will get pregnant,” said a speaker from the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) at a UN parallel event called: Women’s Burden of Unsafe Abortion: Implication for Nigeria’s Development. She was advocating for improved sexual education, among other things.
While most of us know that it takes a bit more than just sitting next a boy to get pregnant, these so-called nuggets of wisdom are not unheard of. At some point in time, many, if not most girls have heard our mothers say, “don’t hold hands,” “don’t kiss,” “don’t talk to that boy,” and even “don’t look at that boy” because “you WILL get pregnant.”
My mother propounded such theories, and I am sure other mothers did as well. Why did our parents lie? One reason is because sex, especially sexual intercourse, is an awkward and complicated topic.
We must change. Yes, I understand it is awkward and complicated to educate children about sex, but its benefits far outweigh the pain, anguish, worry, and regret that accompanies youths who experience sexual activity before they are emotionally, mentally, and physically ready. Sex is a topic we can no longer afford to ignore with our youths (both boys AND girls).
If we are really enmeshed in a battle to save the lives of unborn babies, then we need to start by improving sexual education. We should not rely on school systems to educate the next generation about sex. This is a very personal and private topic that should be brought up by someone in close, personal standing to the child. We need to fix the root of the problem, which is not limited to children and teens engaging in sexual activity, but also lies in parents unwilling to be vocal with their children about sexual education. There is no simple solution, but rather a range of actions we must take, and I believe this starts with education.
“Prevention is sometimes better than a cure,” another woman said at the meeting during Q&A. “Talk to your children. It is not too late to preach chastity and virginity.”
I cannot agree more.