By Princess Pat Akpabio (Guest contributor Julius Nseobot)
Sex is a very important part of man since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. After God blessed man He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply”- Genesis 1:28 was and still is today the commandment God gave to man after creating man in his image and likeness.
Be fruitful and multiply means increase and populate the earth and there is just no other way to carry out this divine order without Sex being involved. A man and a woman must have sexual intercourse in order to replenish the earth with their own kind.
Since sex is part of man's quotidian affairs, it is only normal that we continue to explore its vast influences in society. Failure to own up to this realistic responsibility only promotes ignorance which in return harms the younger generation.
It is regrettable that in this 21st Century, Sex education is still a taboo subject in some African homes, probably because of the fear that bringing up such topics might deepen the curiosity for sex amongst adolescents. Yes, no parents want to breed a generation of promiscuous children.
However, what is certainly not a taboo is man's sexual imaginations because this is what influences his views on sex. Study shows that Africans are predominantly heterosexuals.
The reasons for this sexual orientation can be traced to their religious and traditional inclinations which imposes severe consequences on dissenting sexual practices. Consequences for violating sexual rules may include banishment, excommunication, stigmatization, lynching, etc.
Hence, in this article, we will briefly examine how Africans view heterosexuals. From antiquity, sex has been the only source of procreation known to man. A man is almost incomplete without a woman, be it his wife, girlfriend, or occasional sex mate. In Nigeria, for instance, it is deemed abnormal for a young man to stay without a girlfriend, sex mate, or not to be seen with a woman, at least.
This may generate negative stereotypes from females folks who have hidden admiration for certain men. The situation is not different in countries like Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, etc. Dr. Richard Fleming, a sex counselor at Kansas State University, concludes in the study he conducted to determine the influence of sexual relationships amongst teens in Kenya, that two in every three secondary students either yearn for the sexual experience or are already involved in an active sexual relationship.
He further noted that even the female folks are not afraid of asking the opposite sex for a sexual relationship. To them, sex is worth having inasmuch as it is kept a secret from the prying eyes of their parents and religious leaders.
In some African homes and society as a whole, sexually active children can not discuss with their parents or adults around them that they are having sex with someone of the opposite sex because it is unheard of and a taboo to have such discussion with a parent. Oh no, in your parent's eyes and minds, my little girl/boy is still a virgin, and busting their bubbles with such news could be heartbreaking and disappointing to your parents.
So parents in some African cultures live in this lie and the pretense that their children are not indulging in sexual activities even when they know that this is not true. For instance, If a girl is caught with a man in a sexual act, oh sorry is your case because you will be punished, humiliated, disgraced, and judged by society.
The incident will be the breaking news and this could be worse if the girl gets pregnant or is pregnant as a result of this, then she will be discussed in the neighborhood for a very long time. On the other hand, the punishment given to the man caught in the act is lesser and a feather is probably added to the man because it is believed that the girl is the one who will get pregnant.
So, parents would rather their daughters keep their Chasity to avoid such disgraceful occurrences. Furthermore, a recent analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data performed for never-married women aged 15-24 years in Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and predictably shows that the proportion of women having first intercourse before the age of 20 years is greater than the proportion marrying as adolescents.
The differences in these proportions have increased over time in Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, and Kenya. In Kenya, the gap is particularly wide. For the cohort aged 40-49 years, premarital sexual activity occurred among 40% of adolescents and has changed little amongst recent cohorts in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Zimbabwe.
All these points to the reality that women in Sub-Saharan Africa are increasingly becoming assertive and independent in their sexual choices to the point of being able to separate sex from marriage. Infidelity is a major concern in most marriages in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is partly due to the urge for sexual satisfaction. It is said that civilization has greatly discouraged polygamy in some cultures because it has promoted women liberation, this has to some extent given way to the rise of feminism. Therefore married men prefer to keep an extramarital relationship as a relief for high sexual libido.
To them, it is better than starting a family with another woman. Married women also engaged in extramarital affairs by devising various means. One thing is certain: being married is not enough to satisfy the many needs of our bodies. In As much as some people living in the 21st Century African society would rather not discuss sex openly and would prefer sexual topics be kept under the pillows in their bedrooms, it is imperative the importance of sex, the responsibility that comes with early sex life and it’s likely hood of occurring around them be discussed.
We can not continue to live in this hypocrisy of pretending that young people are not sexually active but we have to open our eyes to the reality before us and address the ills of having premarital sex such as, unwanted pregnancies that could lead to abortion, and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that could alter things in your body.
If we want to groom a next-generation that is educated on the subject matter that, in as much as we agree that Sex is a beautiful act when shared with someone you love, we have to assure the next generation that SEX is sweetest on your marital bed and in a more committed relationship-let’ discuss it.
I am Princess Pat Akpabio and this is Changing minds changing attitudes