As Nigeria is home of the just and holy and chaste, there are hardly ever conversations about sex. A lot of the sexual education young people ever get is from pornography and randy housekeepers or irresponsible uncles and cousins. For other people like me with parents that are medical practitioners, sex education came in the weirdest form; detailed technical knowledge of the subject matter with zero care for emotional and other aspects of sex – I’m assuming there are other aspects of sex.
It is almost a taboo for conversations about sex to occur between parents and their children. Much like how Nigerian and African parents want their daughter to be chaste and never have a boyfriend but magically bring a fiancee home from the university or grad school.
But sex is an important subject. Yesterday Twitter user, Jaja let out a scathing tweet.
Some of us grew up without sexual education from our parents and ended up having sex with our siblings.
Our generation must do better.
— Chi (@JajaPhD) August 6, 2017
And the tweet opens up a lot of important questions and talking points. I believe religion – Christianity and Islam have made things like sex a taboo especially when it’s not between married people. The times are changing and people are having sex for reasons other than “reproduction” – I hear orgasms are incredible.
Here are some takeaways.
- Times are different: In times when there was no internet and porn, people learned sex from other people curious and close to them. A lot of them from siblings and cousins. This meant there was a lot of incest. Minus the ‘spiritual’ repercussions for incest, there are a lot of medical implications. The conditions of the sex might not have been sanitary. There might not have been safe sex.
- Why is sex a taboo? This is a genuine question – Is sex so disgusting? Are the children that come from sex disgusting? Or is the pride of a female tied to her virginity? The subtle and sometimes vivid anger directed at sex is the cause of sexual inequality. Nobody really cares that a boy has sex, it’s the girl that’s the unfortunate or the tricked one.
- As the world moves on, we need to update our curriculum. People will have sex. Young people will have sex. We are in an age of sexual liberation and it is very important to teach young girls and boys to love, master and appreciate their bodies. It’s only right for young people to know safe sex and masturbation.
- Religious institutions need to come down from their high horses and teach people about sex and safe sex. The God Christians worship will still love you when you have sex for the wrong reasons. Why then will church or that aunty in Sunday School make you feel worthless, unlovable and unforgivable for having sex? Many believe that religion is a way to control people and judge them. But in the age of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and general infections, it’s necessary that this knowledge be available everywhere and at all times for everyone.
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin