Growing up, words such as penis, vagina and breasts were the most sinful words to me, and, perhaps, to many children out there. Euphemism is a great tool in the hands of creative writers, but it is a very disastrous tool in the hands of parents who euphemize too much. And that has done more harm than good to us. I remember when my Mum would always call my manhood "thing" or "tolo-tolo", I wondered why she did call it so. But, I couldn't ask her.  Out of 100 (African) parents, about 5 to 10 discuss about sex and sex life with their children. All they do is to euphemize the names of sensitive parts of the body.
Most of us got exposed to (shabby) sex education in JSS 3 or so. And some of the teachers that taught us made them look like some very special things to us, because they discussed them with us with a shy courage. They only developed our curiosity, but never quenched our thirty throat. Can you remember those days you would watch movies with your parents and they would tell you to cover your face or leave the place when "sex scenes" came up? That was strange to me. I wanted to know their reasons for that but I didn't ask, because if I did I would be referred to as a rude child. Sadly, a great number of us quenched our curiosity with pornographic pictures and films. [Hardly will you find youths and teens that haven't been exposed to that]. And these [pornographic films and nude pictures] contribute to our bad orientations about sex. 

Many girls were told to keep their virginity. Their parents told them to keep it without telling them the importance of doing so. They were told that if a guy touch them, they would be pregnant instantly. Ordinary touch? Is pregnancy a virus? Some parents made their girls to know that their "private parts" are made for urinating only. And nothing more. Some girls were never taught about menstruation until they saw the strange flow of blood. Fear was the only thing many parents planted in their children.
The concept of "virginity" is being repeated in the ears of the female children more often. But, the male children are raised with little or no sex education. To them, the male child is strong, free and capable of handling anything that comes his way. They fail to acknowledge that the untrained male child will become a threat to the trained female child. Pathetically, many male children are already victims and "actors" of bad occurrences. 

I think it's high time our parents start teaching us what sex is and what sex is not. I know no one taught you that a girl has an "atm point" under her; no one taught you that a guy has a "driving license" under him. But, knowing about these ones aren't what sex education is. Sex education is telling your children what sex entails, what to do when their minds dwell on sex, how to react when they have the urges for sex, how to control their minds, when to have sexual affairs (this is not only about age), how to politely turn the opposite sex down when s/he approaches them for sex.... 

Sex education isn't exposing children to raw sex materials and pictures! It's exposing them to themselves. Yes, expose them to their bodies and the functions of each part. Don't euphemise every time. Plain words go a long way. Imagine asking a girl of 8 years old if she has a "vagina" and she say "God forbid", or a boy of the same age if he has a penis and he say "I will not have in Jesus's name". Although, knowing the names of these organs isn't the main thing, but knowing their functions is essential. If parents relate well with their children about sex, the children would feel free to discuss their relationship affairs with them, the children would be ready to open up to them about their sexual life. Most rape victims can't even tell their parents about it because they fear being beaten or being cursed or being accused wrongly.

Without teaching both genders what "sex and sex life" is (right from an early age), there won't be a limit to the rate of sexual crimes and impurities in the society. We can only rant on social media, but the foundation of the societal problem is the HOME. There's a cycle I call SOCIETAL CYCLE: "parents build the children, the children build the society and the society build the parents." The society here comprises religious centres and beliefs, school, culture, politics, traditions and others. The level of evil acts in our society is directly proportional to the level of bad parenting. 

©Taiwo Gbeoluwaga Akorede


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