BLOG: Teen sex is happening; parents can no longer avoid the dreaded sexuality talk
On Tuesday, the Daily Nation’s headline said that teenagers want access to condoms and they want them now.
People on social media did not take too kindly to that headline, including some staff members of that paper themselves who felt that more ‘important news’ such as the progress of the party nominations and other elections related information should have been featured instead.
I, for one, was elated that the paper decided to take that direction for once because, whether we like it or not, sex is happening with today’s teens.
My mother has always made it a point to make sure that her girls found out about the birds and the bees from her and not from our friends who did not know that much more than us.
She told me about periods, where babies come from and she is currently telling me all that I need to know to prepare for the birth of my first child in a few weeks’ time. The same goes for my sister. I however don’t actively ask for the info, it is volunteered to me, unlike my sister, who goes out of her way to ask for the nitty gritties of very uncomfortable subjects.
My mother once called me and was quite troubled as she had just been asked by my fifteen-year old sister how to count her ‘safe’ days.
Kenyans are going wild because their teens want to know where to get condoms while my sister is asking how to have sex WITHOUT protection and still avoid pregnancy!
My mother eventually explained the concept but let her know that it was not always accurate and to always use protection, just in case.
Kenyan parents should get off their high horses and talk to their children about matters sexuality and to do so in good time before they get the wrong information from television, the Internet and their misinformed friends.
A popular morning show on a local radio station also recently broached the subject and parents (especially fathers) declared that children should learn about sex from their mothers, schools or worse still, from experience.
Some said that they will do their best to raise their children but on that front would pray to God to handle the rest. I also noticed from the social media reactions that most people against the subject are men.
I understand that it is difficult to imagine that your child – that innocent little one you held in your arms what seems like a few days ago – is currently experimenting with their bodies and getting to know more about the opposite sex.
But the reality is, according to that study that was conducted where over 2,400 teenagers were interviewed said they would like to know where condoms and other forms of contraceptives are found and another study by the Ministry of Health showed that about 20 per cent of teens had sex before they turned 15. Sex is happening.
What I do not understand is the reluctance to talk about it but the condemnation of teenage pregnancies, teenage abortions and single parenthood after the fact.
Worse still is the growing number of HIV infection rates among young people, which would be totally avoidable if they were told how to protect themselves early enough.
So what is left for parents to do is stop burying their heads in the sand and pretending that these things don’t happen and take action. Tell your children early enough so that they won’t be misled by their peers. If possible start telling them slowly from a young age, using child friendly language, and with time keep on adding to that information.