Sex education, sole responsibility of parents, guardians- Expert insists

A Child Rights Advocate, Mrs Matilda Otitoloju, has urged parents and guardians to take sole responsibility for educating their adolescent girls about sexual reproductive health.

This, she said, would help to prevent pre-marital and unplanned pregnancies.

Otitoloju, the Project Coordinator of Iyaniwura Children Care Foundation (ICCF), said that teaching adolescent girls about reproductive health and sexuality would not encourage them to have several sexual partners.

According to her, such education would rather prepare and provide them with the adequate knowledge on the inherent dangers in pre-marital sex.

She noted that it was crucial for parents to start educating their children and wards on sex and related issues from ages 12 to 15, saying that that was part of parenting responsibilities.

“When we teach adolescent girls about pre-marital sex, we are trying to give them information about sexual and reproductive health issues so that if they are sexually active they know where to go for advice.

“It is likely that most parents didn’t grow up with their parents listening to them, so, they shun their children when they ask about sexual and reproductive health issues. This is not supposed to be so,” Otitoloju said.

The child rights advocate also said that some parents in Nigeria regarded sex education as an attempt to damage the moral conscience of a child.

“It is almost important that parents teach adolescent girls about their rights to be able to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

“As a parent, if you fail to teach your children what they ought to know at home, surely they would be taught outside, which could even be late,” she said.

Otitoloju, however, said that pre-marital pregnancy among school age girls has been blamed largely on the prevalent poverty in the country.

According to her, the level of poverty in Nigeria will be reduced minimally if emphasis has been placed on sensitising the teenage girls about sex matters on time.

“It is unfortunate that while parents, who are low income earners, could hardly meet up with the economic well-being of their children, the uninformed girls would compound the family’s woes through unwanted pregnancy.

“This vicious cycle would definitely revolve to the next generation, because an uninformed mother will beget illiterate children,” she said.

She, therefore, urged teenage girls to always seek redress at the appropriate quarters anytime they were sexually harassed.

The expert also emphasised the need for government at all levels to incorporate sex education into the school curriculum, so as to teach the teenagers on dangers inherent in pre-marital sex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.