An old lady was asked to say something about sex. She said: “Sex is the most enjoyable thing on earth. It’s probably second to a delicious meal!” I agree with her. The reason a good meal has it over sex is because the satisfaction from a good meal lasts longer than the satisfaction one derives from sex. King Sunny Ade (the Nigerian Juju music maestro) calls the latter ‘Adun ma d’eeke’ meaning ‘sweet something that the sweetness doesn’t get to the cheeks (mouth)’.
Sex is a good thing. It’s one of the numerous reasons we’re fearfully and wonderfully created by God. Unfortunately, the global statistics from sex-related offences are rather disturbing. Reported cases of underage children raped by adult males abound. Pre-marital sex is now the norm while abstinence from sex by adolescents is considered ‘old school’. A while ago, curiosity got the better of a principal in a secondary school in one of the South-Western states in Nigeria, making her conduct virginity test on her students! She did get into serious trouble with the authorities for doing such a thing. However, that over 80 percent of the girls have lost their virginity should be a cause for concern to every parent.
Why is something considered good being made look so bad? I thought of two reasons. First, most parents play the ostrich with the idea of sex. When it comes to the subject of sex, our orientation is ‘hear no evil, see no evil, and say no evil’. When I told my parents that I was getting married at 27 years of age, all I was asked was: “Is it time?” Nobody asked me what I knew about marriage or what is done in marriage. They obviously expected me to have learned along the way! For all my mother’s downrightness, she disappointed me by not asking me for what I understand about marriage.
The Scripture says: “Train up a child in the way that s/he should go, even when s/he is old s/he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Given the importance of sex, it is unarguably one of the critical life areas a child needs education. On the age a child should be introduced to the subject of sex, I will say as soon as possible. My wife tells our children (boys and girls) as soon as they can call ‘daddy’ and ‘mummy’ to report anybody who touches them in the sensitive parts of their body to her. On what to say to children about sex, it’s different strokes for different folks. Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly Church in Nigeria said he struck what I call a ‘virginity deal’ with his daughter. They both agreed on a reward if the girl keeps her virginity until she gets married!
The second reason sex is being made to look bad is because of the slap-on-the-wrist punishment our legal system mete out to sex offenders. Legally speaking, nothing really deters men from sexually abusing women. There was a reported case of a woman who inflicted injuries on a man she caught raping her daughter! The Law Enforcement Agency’s response was to place a search warrant for her arrest!
Importance of Early Sex Education
Studies have shown that children who are exposed to sex education early in life tend not to engage in pre-marital sex. Some studies actually report that as high as 50% of such children abstain from pre-marital sex.
Of greater importance is the fact that people that did not engage in pre-marital sex are less likely to engage in extra-marital relationships. This is quite understandable. When a lady or a young man is able to overcome the temptations associated with pre-marital sex, s/he is very likely going to restrain from the allures of extra-marital relationship.
Extra-marital relationship is increasing at an alarming rate. Not long ago, the marriage problems of a former Ghanaian international footballer (Nii Odartey Lamptey) became public knowledge. His marital woes started when he discovered that the 3 children he has nurtured for a better part of his adult life were not his biological children! This fact came to the fore when the 38-year-old footballer conducted DNA test on the children after sensing marital infidelity on the part of his wife. The wife claimed it was her husband who suggested an artificial insemination after realizing he was infertile! I have heard some other cases in which the wives also made the same claim Lamptey’s wife made. In Nigeria, it is speculated as high as 30% of matrimonial homes have this kind of paternity issues!
Formal Education without Sex Education is Dangerous
A couple of days ago, a friend, Opeyemi Agbaje, shared an inspiring story about his daughter who bagged a Law degree from Cambridge University. That he was proud of his daughter’s accomplishment was evident from his Facebook post. Any father would be proud of a daughter who was the best student in Secondary School Certificate Examinations and a prize winner in A-levels. As I read the story, I couldn’t help but pray for the young lady’s future marriage. I prayed for her for the reason that marriage is one thing that can turn a happy family into a disoriented family overnight. The risk associated with marrying the wrong person informed God’s injunction to the children of Israel not to allow their children to intermarry with the inhabitants of the land He gave to them.
Another family I heard about wasn’t as lucky as The Agbajes. Their daughter also did very well in Secondary School Certificate Examinations, scoring A’s in all nine subjects! On the strength of her academic performance coupled with a good result in SAT, she was offered admission into one of the top universities in America. The father paid the girl’s tuition for 4 years in advance! However, after 2 years in college, the young girl absconded with a lover! The parents didn’t know until the college authority contacted the father to come for the refund of the unused school fees! Now the family is preoccupied with the challenges of rehabilitating the young lady.
Sex is a very sensitive issue to talk about. For whatever reason, our natural inclination is to avoid discussing it. However, the importance of sex education for our peace of mind and that of our children, as enunciated in this article, makes it imperative that we teach them. When we consider the fact that sex education is one critical area God wants us to train our children, we would overcome any inhibitions we may have about the subject.