OHAKA, NYECHE CHRISTOPHER THE RECIPE FOR GIRL-CHILD
SEX EDUCATION AND SEXUAL ABUSE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR OHAKA, Nyeche Christopher is an Educationist and Industrialist by virtue of his training in department of Business Education, Faculty of Technical and Science Education, Rivers State University, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He is a trained Peer Educator in the areas of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Child Sex and Sexual Relation at YOUTH PRO-FILE a subsidiary of United States Agency International Development (USAID). Sequel to his avid interest in contemporary educational research and development, and writing dexterity he has authored and co-authored disparate scholarly works both published and unpublished. He is an experienced debate instructor and a core advocate of egalitarian gender education. He is also a corporate planning and strategic management analyst, a business policy analyst and peer educator.
OTHER SCHOLARLY WORKS OF THE AUTHOR
Girl-Child Sex Education: The Colossal Onus of The Family Girl-child Sex education and the Place of Schools: Insights for 21st Century NFCSers Teenage Pregnancy among Girls in Tertiary Institutions: The Role of Sex Education Corporate Planning in International Business Organizations: Importance and Limitations Students’ Perception of Business Studies TraineeTeachers and Classroom Conduct in Port-Harcourt Secondary schools Sex Education and HIV/AIDS Awareness among Female Secondary School Students Information Technology as a Tool for SocioEconomic Development Doing Praises and Adoration to God: The Christian Perspective You Reap What You Sow: My In-depth Exposition
The Succulent Fruits of Being A Man of Integrity Orderliness: A Condition Precedence for National Development Choosing A Supreme Pontiff: Chronology, Explications and Analysis Philosophy of Education and Philosophy and Education: Exposing the Disparities The Developmental Role of The Young Catholic Students to Societal Development Corporate Planning and Crisis Containment Strategies: Insights for 21st Century Business Educators It is only a Bad Lesson Plan that Admits no Modification: Implications for the Trainee-Teachers in a Recessive Economy Higher Education Globalization: The Rationale and Role of Regulatory Agencies Corporate Planning: An Aid to Strategic Decision Making in Schools
The Impact of Technological Environment on the World of Business Information Communication Technology in Business Education: Corporate Tool for Problem Solving and Managerial Competence Sources and Containment Strategies of Learners’ Stress in Schools Educational Planning: An Ideologically Neutral Concept Intricacies of Courtship and Life Partnership in Christian Marriages Educational Policy Planning: Contemporary Encumbrances and Implementation Strategies Creating a Sustainable Youth in Challenging Society Self Discovery: A Necessary Voyage of Life
DEDICATION I dedicate this literary piece to my;
Most Cherished Heavenly Father (GOD), Beloved parents; Chief (Sir) Christopher Chukumeka Ohaka (JP, KSM) and Lady Juliana Ejimole Ohaka (LSM, SM, FM) All the prospective readers
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The following personalities are deserving of my profuse encomiums:
The Most High God who is the maker not made and the source of everything that is impeccable, enchanting, wise and ecstatic for giving me the divine protection and wisdom to successfully embark and complete this task, My most cherished and wonderful parents: Chief (Sir) Ohaka C.C. and Lady Ohaka J.E. (LSM, SM, FM) for their love, affection, care, basic provisions and ceaseless prayers for my wellbeing, My teachers especially those who I passed through their sincere discipline and influence at the different stages of my educational endeavours, My worthy mentors for living the required exemplary lives which helped shaped my personal views about life,
My lovely siblings: Chinwendu, Bekweri, Ikedichi, Amarachi and Chinenye for providing me with the necessary conducive atmosphere, All the authors whose materials were found to be highly useful and citied in the course of writing of this work.
PREFACE There is the dire need for the society to engage in constant censored, informative and educative girl-child sex and
sexuality discussions. This earnest desire which has in our contemporary milieu, become increasingly momentous is not unconnected with the driving curiosity of most girlchildren to know about their sex and sexuality right from infancy. It is therefore worthy of to opine that if this degree of curiosity is not properly directed and met in healthy and appropriate ways via open, honest, ageappropriate discussions in the home, the issue of sex and sexuality education of girl-child will become a big, dark, hidden “no-no”, and the girl-child will inevitably seek to satisfy her curiosity in covert distorted ways (West, 2000). Unarguably, sex is a deeply personal and relational topic. But we must educate the girl-child about it even though talking about it can’t be a time event. When it actually comes to the issue of girl-child sex education, sensitizing them can be one of the most valuable and effective tool at a parent’s disposal. In fact, in this particular scenario, not educating the girl-child about sex and her sexuality may
end up costing the society far more than they bargained for (Medical Institute for Medical Health, 2013). Educating the girl-child about sex and sexuality ought not to commence at the puberty stage (it should begin even before they can speak). As she approaches puberty, you will shift gears from talking about sex in general to a more specific briefings on the subject of her own sexuality. This is to however, fully arm her with the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional transformation that are imminent in her life. Girl-children, therefore, needs those information and wisdom since sexual maturation can be a confusing and frightening experience. A period when they often face the onset of menstruation, breast development, mood swings and other changes with little or no support from their parent (Medical Institute for Medical Health, 2013). Sequel to this, the girl-child needs to understand that the transformation going on in her body is a positive transition
into woman-hood rather than a reason for fear, shame and embarrassment. A girl-child who learns to embrace her feminine nature early on will be better able to resist misinformation and eventually enjoy a sexually fulfilled life. The book: â€œThe Recipe for Girl-Child Sex Education and Sexual Abuseâ€? was designed to further enlighten or educate parents and family members, teachers, peer groups and the girl-children themselves the pertinent theories and contemporary issues underpinning the sex education of girl-children in the Nigerian context. It covers a wide range of timely, interesting and thought-provoking topics on some core aspects of sex education. The book is presented in a number of 10 chapters ranging from chapter 1 which dealt with the concept of girl-child and educated girl-child. In chapter 2, the nature and meaning of sex and sexual inter-course was x-rayed critically from different perspectives. The chapter vividly
and integrally explained the meaning of sex, the origin of sex, the essence of sex and who should have sex. Chapter 3 also presented some working definitions of effective sex and sexuality education. Here, the book made an implied attempt to make a clear distinction between sex education and effective sex education. The chapter also considered what it actually takes to be a sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child. Chapter 4 did not fail to look at the goals of sex and sexuality education in a broad perspective. While in chapter 5, the system and historical perspective of sex education was looked at taking due cognizance of how sex education has evolved in Nigeria The nature, contemporary and historical perspectives of sex education in some African countries like; India, Thailand, Tanzania, Uruguay and England were x-rayed accordingly in chapter 6. But in chapter 7, only the forms of sex and sexuality education such as; comprehensive
sexuality education, abstinence-based sexuality education, fear-based sex and sexuality education and abstinenceonly-until-marriage sex and sexuality education were looked at. Chapter 8 considered the sexuality educators of the girlchild such as the family, the school, among others. Chapter 9 on the other hand, examined domestic violence in relation to the sex-education of the girl-child while chapter 10 finally discussed the African approaches to gender issues and girl-child sex education.
CHAPTER 1 THE CONCEPT OF GIRL-CHILD AND EDUCATED GIRL-CHILD Overview There is the dire need for the society to engage in constant censored, informative and educative girl-child sex and sexuality discussions. This will not be unconnected with the driving curiosity of most girl-children to know about their sex and sexuality right from infancy. If this curiosity is not properly directed, and met in healthy and appropriate ways through open, honest, age-appropriate discussion in the home, the issue of sex and sexuality education of girlchild education becomes a big, dark, hidden “no-no”, and the girl-child will inevitably seek to satisfy her curiosity in covert distorted ways (West, 2000). Unarguably, sex is a deeply personal and relational topic. But we must educate the girl-child about it even though talking about it can’t be a time event. When it actually
comes to the issue of girl-child and sex, sensitizing them can be one of the most valuable and effective tool at a parentâ€™s disposal. In fact, in this particular scenario, not educating the girl-child about sex and her sexuality may end up costing you far more than you bargained for (Medical Institute for Medical Health, 2013). Educating the girl-child about sex and sexuality ought not to commence at the puberty stage (it should begin even before they can speak). As she approaches puberty, you will shift gears from talking about sex in general to a more specific briefings on the subject of her own sexuality. This is to however, fully arm her with the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional transformation that are imminent in her life. Girl-children, therefore, needs those information and wisdom since sexual maturation can be a confusing and frightening experience. A period when they often face the onset of menstruation, breast development, mood swings and other changes with little or no support from their
parent (MISH, 2013). Sequel to this, the girl-child needs to understand that the transformation going on in her body is a positive transition into woman-hood rather than a reason for fear, shame and embarrassment. A girl-child who learns to embrace her feminine nature early on will be better able to resist misinformation and eventually enjoy a sexually fulfilled life. In this chapter, we shall examine the following issues; the nature and definition of the girl-child and the educated girl-child The Nature and Definitions of the Girl-Child When it actually comes to a vivid description or explication of the nature of the girl-child, paucity of literature exists. The study of the nature of the girl-child requires a scrupulous approach and critical investigation because of the dynamism and unpredictability of human nature generally. The English word â€œgirlâ€? was initially used to describe a young person of either sex. It was not until the beginning of the sixteenth century that the term was used specifically to define a female child.
Many feminists and philosophers have advanced several relative thoughts and ideas about the girl-child but none has actually made a final explanation. Some of the feminists would affirm that the distinction between male and female is nothing but an outdated construct (MISH, 2013). The girl-child is one of the distinct sexes created by God and as such, she reflects the true nature of God in some mysterious way. As a true reflection of the nature of God, the girl-child, by nature strives for perfection and holiness. She is a living creature who desires success. And according to the suggestions of Hollywood, they must be smart, beautiful, athletic, adventuresome, powerful and of course, sexy (MISH, 2013). The Medical Institute for Sexual Health (2014), in their conscious effort to couch or develop the nature of the girlchild, advanced some in-exhaustive list of characteristics which every girl-child would use to make her journey into a healthy sexuality. They are; intimacy, mothering, care-
giving, emotional perception, talk, affirmation and security. 1. Intimacy: Girls have a greater need than boys to receive and offer intimacy (not only sexual intimacy but a deep, emotional, personal connection). This gives her the sensitivity that she is received, heard and understood by others. 2. Mothering: The brain of the girl-child is patterned in such a way that it can protect, mother and nurture without much effort. Naturally, the girl-child seeks to provide comfort and care even when they are not yet mothers. They are affectionately unique when it comes to mothering and this is one of the greatest features that nature has endowed on them. 3. Care-giving: The girl-child tends to have an ardent impulse toward care-giving in its various forms. They always want to extend and receive care.
4. Emotional perception: Closely connected with the urge to mother and give care is the emotional sensitivity of the female brain. Compared to the mail brain, the girl-child is more aware of and better able to read the emotions, facial expressions, and the body language of others. 5. Talk: The girl-child often need and crave verbal communication. Typically, they are greater word users than men. In fact, certain language related regions in a woman’s brain are larger than man’s. 6. Affirmation: Because the act of talking is so imperative to them, they would always crave the need to know they have a right to speak and to be heard. 7. Security: They have the dire desire to feel safe and cared for. A healthy woman is protective and in turn too, seeks protection. In the early 1970s, the term ‘girl’ is occasionally used colloquially to refer to a young or unmarried woman; however, such expression was being challenged by some
group of feminists during that period. They contended that, the use of this appellation may result in offence. Being a girl-child is more than biology and maybe it even transcends beyond critically examining gender which is a social construct (although, many experts have excoriated this theory). But in this construct of reality, and in some others, ‘girlhood’ is sometimes seen as being akin but sometimes disparate from ‘boyhood’ (Kovie Biakolo, March 8, 2013. What does it mean to be a woman? The thought & Expression Co.). The girl-child has lesser musculature as a young female with a distinctively feminine nature. She is by nature, sexually attractive, nurturing and differential. She can chat without seizing, demands continuous attention and can even cry about every little thing. If in an excruciating emotional pain, she finds it more comfortable to express herself through the shading of tears and if joyful, she can rejoice and dance out her joy. She is soft to touch. You cannot like her but you cannot live without her. If she does
not place some premium in complementarily cultivating a pleasing appearance and an impeccable personality, she briskly earns the lost and not respect of society. And because she has only succeeded in developing a beautiful, attractive appearance and pleasing countenance without a sound brain and character, her private part would mostly be at the receiving end as the society would only lost after her. She may not be entirely the weaker vessel as could be perceived from some quarters of the society but rather a team player, and a help meet fit for man because one who is weak cannot be strong enough to provide help to another. Can a weaker vessel give succor to the stronger vessel? Their weakness is in their strength. Okoye (2011), in his conscious attempt to further describe the indispensable nature of the girl-child, developed this exceptional tale;
When the creator finished creating man, he realized that he had used up all the physical elements and nothing was left to create a woman. He therefore, took the roundness of a moon and the agility of the clinging vine. The trembling of the grass, the slenderness of a reed and the beauty of blossoming flowers. The lightness of the leaves and the cheerfulness of the rays of sunshine. The tears of the clouds and the instability of the wind. The fearfulness of a rabbit and the vanity of peacock, the softness of a birdâ€™s breast and the hardness of a diamond. The sweetness of honey and the cruelty of a tiger, the heart of a burning fire and chillness of a snow, the chatter of a magpie and the song of a nightingale. The deceitfulness
of a crane and the faithfulness of a mother lion. Indeed, the author aligns with Okoye (2011) by asserting that all these mixed and yielding elements are relatively true quintessential and embodiment of the girl-child. Evidently, this little tale as has been espoused above, will enable us twig the twig the girl-child – her nature and aspiration, the does and don’ts of her existence, her inexperience and wisdom, her charming and irritation, her loving nature and distastefulness, her caring and rejection, her domineering and carefree attitude, her jealousy and compassion, her possessiveness and generosity, her faithfulness and infidelity, her determination and weakness, her deep longing and hostility. She is ‘loving’ but destructive, complex but simple. It is no gainsaying therefore to opine that these complexities embodied in the personhood of the girl-child makes her an interesting nature to study (Okoye, 2011).
Notwithstanding the reality that a girl-child is â€œbeautifully madeâ€?, that spell of beauty can still be summarily destroyed by a coarse loud talking and ceaseless indiscriminate nagging; her soft and silvery tones renders her positively attractive, characterize her as a true child in the social circle, soothes the fretful siblings and cheers the weary parents in the sanctuary of the home. These plain and unassuming traits however, could make the society become irresistibly drawn to her. They always want to be adored, appreciated, respected, wanted, loved, cared for, honoured and accepted. When this happens, they are everything and on the contrary, they are nothing. The discovery of the deep cauldron in every woman needs patience, experience and the understanding of their nature. That is why a sexually active girl-child can reach orgasm with some men and not in other men. She can love a man so dearly today and hate the same man so passionately the next day. That is to opine that it is with the same gravity with which they love that they hate.
Many girls love to play with dolls, cook in the kitchen and have tea parties. Whether she plays with a baseball instead of a Barbie, or creates algorithms instead of apple butter, her natural tendency is to focus on the relational aspect of the activity rather than the physical one (MISH, 2013). Girls have an intrinsic desperation to look more attractive and be valued. As such, they are by nature, required to be complimented on their character qualities such as; courage, sensitivity and integrity. The nature of girls is such that, when a fatherâ€™s love is missing in their daily existence they look to other men in order to meet their basic personal needs. In the cause of doing this, they may turn out to be seductive, flirty or even sexually active at an early stage of life because she desires and needs the protective, affirming love a father should give (MISH, 2013). Due to their psychological, emotional and biological make up, if they become sexually active before marriage with multitudinous partners, they are the ones who are most
likely to suffer both physically and emotionally especially in the areas of unexpected pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases/infections and other related consequences (MISH, 2013). The girl-child is one of the characteristically distinctive beings or intelligent animals who is beautifully and wonderfully made by God, possesses instinctual feelings, adaptability features and the reproductive system which enables her to give birth to offspring of her kind or produce eggs. She is a young female taken out from the male to complement the societal role of man and continue Godâ€™s procreative adventure. Girl-children may be perceived as the weaker sex by nature every now and then but her influence and power over the society cannot be downplayed or undermined especially when they grow into woman hood. But, Mulock in her contrary view described the girl-child as the best woman who has always somewhat of a manâ€™s strength and the noblest man of a womanâ€™s gentleman.
They have an indescribable model through which they penetrate members of the society. That is why Louis de Beuafort will articulate that the future of the society is in the hands of the female children; if the world was to be lost through them, they alone through their nature and features can save it. Maurus (2009), in his attempt to describe the nature of the female child aligned to the sentiment raising the following points about the characteristics of the girl-child to further buttress his point: Any female child can give a man pleasure; only a girl-child can give him love. Any female child can help him spend his money, Only a real woman would help him when he is down. Only the real woman can tell him when he is wrong.
Any girl with half a wit can show him good time. Only a real woman can give him the happiness that lasts. Only a real woman brings a God and, herself to fill his heart. She is a young female taken from the male to complement the societal role of man and also continue Godâ€™s procreative adventure. Having a somewhat similar view in support of this, Sir Wilson Churchill one of the past presidents of America while feuding questions from an American reporter, had this to opine regarding the personhood of the female child: She was created from the rib of man. She was not made from his head to top him,
Nor out of his feet to be trampled upon, But out of his side to be equal to him, Under his arm to be protected, And near his heart to be loved (Maurus, 2009). The girl-child possesses mammary glands which later develops to carry milk for babies and a womb which houses the fetus. She is not designed to fight and endure great physical pressure; due to the hormonal or chemical inbuilt of the girl-child, she reacts disparately in terms of emotion. She tends to be warm. Murrow (2000) will conceive; the girl-child is often more complex. She may show affection more easily, cry more be a more complex person simply because she has more to deal with physically.
Every impeccable, responsible and responsive girl-child will by her natural nature, posses the following distinctive personality traits which are not far-fetched; Ability to be fair, just and harmonious in his coexistence with his peers; Ability to protect the good interest and aspiration of her society and group; Ability to adhere strictly to the laws of her country; Ability to take and give better example; Ability to inform and be informed on both local and international affairs; Ability to be depended upon and also partake in societal affairs; Ability to be courteous, friendly and not egocentric with her dealings with other members of the society; Ability to make productivity her watch-word; Ability to take responsibilities with utmost good faith and handle them diligently;
ď‚ˇ Ability to relate with nature with poise and tackle challenges with indifference. While the girl-childâ€™s weakness may be in her strength, her beauty may usually turn out to be fatal to her. Her desire for revenge (if she decides to) over a pain or injury inflicted on her is usually longitude. If she wishes to revenge, such longing outlasts all her other emotions. Just like the Elephants, girl-children will hardly forget an illtreatment or unjust act melted out on them. Their hormonal make up usually causes them to want attention, nice words, compliments and flowers. Estrogen causes her to want to be pursued rather than pursuing their male counterparts. Reason being that their hormonal construct is relatively different from their male counterparts (Burrow, 2000). Considering their natural tendencies, it is better for the girl-child to be looked over than to be over-looked because, because in the dark they all fair and once they
have given you their heart, you can never get rid of the rest of them. A girl-child is young woman who is not yet an adult but is physically and mentally alert. She is mostly a sole dependant growing and developing under the auspices of the parents. Thus, she could be described as an ambassador who bears the genetic and physical characteristics of her parents. To this end, she could promote the nomenclature of the family through the immaculate lifestyle she typifies at every point in time (Ohaka, 2011). The girl-child therefore under consideration is usually between the ages of 0-18. Her growth and development in this period, spans the most basic, critical and fundamental. During this period, the girl-child requires absolute recognition and acceptance as an existing being so as to enhance her self-worth and self-esteem. The methodical and systematic support of the community and her immediate family provides the keystone for her formation and growth. Therefore, the girl-child should not be
continually greeted with discrimination and prejudice from the very systems that are meant to preserve her dignity, strength her sense of self and hold up her development (Ohaka, 2011). More so, girls tend to use both sides of their brain simultaneously in their spatial problem-solving skills. Studies have also revealed that, some girls have much more corpus callosum, or connective tissues between the two hemispheres of the brain which would account for a girlâ€™s tendency to use both sides of the brain simultaneously. Even though some may not have connective tissue, MRI brain scans reveal that these girls still have a tendency to use both sides of the brain simultaneously (Gray, 1994). The girl-children briskly adapt to their role as nurturers and learn to cope with feelings and problem solving primarily through talking and sharing with others in the family and community. Her brain is patterned in a distinctive manner that allows her communicate feelings
more efficiently. They possess extra connective tissues comprised of more neuro-connectors between the feelings and the language centre of the brain which allows them to develop language skills and this allows them to use more words at their early stage of development (Gray, 1994). A girl-child at an early stage develops an impulse to talk most times without pondering. When she feels supported in talking without the fear of rejection or loss of love, and then she is eventually able to grow the neuro-connectors that allow her to feel, speak and think at the same time. As an adult, when she is upset and is not thinking clearly, she will instinctively want to talk to someone who will just listen. This enablement allows her to re-fix her mindset to her feelings and make sense of the situation to determine what to do. When she is distressed, she seeks out help in the form of someone to listen to her articulate her feelings. A girl-child may be brisk to air her feelings, want to explore a problem more fully through talking and most
efficiently sort out her thoughts and feelings by talking (Gray, 1994). When a girl-child is exasperated, she tend to make it a subject for discussion. As she talks about the issue, her cognitive perspective crops-in as she then simultaneously ponders over altering and feelings. She does this beginning from the part of the brain that feels, goes through the communication domain from there, she lands at the thinking portion (Gray, 1994). A girl-child is the product of the fusion of the X chromosome of the man and the X chromosome of the woman arising from a sexual relation between two persons of the opposite sex. The Educated Girl-Child The concept of an â€˜educated girl-childâ€™ is a very key concept to this work and as such, a careful attempt shall be made to extensively dwell on it. In our contemporary milieu, many have erroneously described an educated girl-
child based on the number of academic qualifications or the number of degrees possessed; the size of her vocabulary and the number of books she has read. But, I assure you with equanimity of intellectual certainty that, it is not what truly makes a girl-child to be described as being an educated person. More so, it is pertinent to note that, the definition of an educated girl-child, in common parlance, as one who can read and write, no longer suffices or hold water as it has become highly anachronistic. A truly educated girl-child is one who has undergone a process of learning (which could either be formal or informal) that results in improved mental abilities to future effectively in familiar and novel (new and strange) circumstances or situations in her
personal and intellectual life. So, in order for her to function effectively in such situations, she has to posses; •
General information which is knowledge;
General thinking capabilities involved is the building and critical analysis of knowledge;
General language abilities required for clear, accurate and effective communication for ‘episterine’ purposes;
The ability to independently acquire knowledge and general language; including the ability to engage in rational modes of inquiry, and above all,
The mind-set that facilitates her ability to acquire knowledge and learn independently. (Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, 2005).
In addition to the above exposition, her mental make-up should also include relatively elusive qualities such as awareness of the uncertainty and fallibility of knowledge, openness of mind, willingness and ability to doubt and question, personal involvement in knowledge, intellectual curiosity, and the joy of learning. With these acquired characteristics, she will begin to perceive accurately, think clearly, and act effectively according to self-defined goals and aspirations. When you say a girl-child is educated, it means that she has successfully trained her ‘intellect’ and ‘will’ complementarily; as knowledge without virtue is worthless and highly un-demonstrable. Reason being that, the centre of knowledge is the ‘intellect’ while the ‘will’ is the centre of virtue. When this occurs, the added knowledge and
virtue will make her more reasonable and responsible for her actions. It is therefore imperative to know that, if she only excels intellectually and fails to correspondingly excel in strength of will, she is not truly educated because virtue is lacking in its entirety. If you are intelligent and posses the required capability to ruminate reasonably and act in a more practical and virtues way, you are educated. She is a mentally alert person; always knows WHAT is the right thing to say, WHEN to say it, WHERE to say it, HOW to say it and WHOM it must be said to. She is also the person who has gradually exposed her lack of knowledge and has advanced her natural abilities and has developed in herself a sense of power and success in our present society.
She has respect for others (both old and young) in spite of their power and status; she is responsible for the results of her actions, inactions; and resourceful at getting what she needs, personally and for their kith and kin, organization/group, and/or society. An educated girl-child is one who has learned how to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, understand and communicate knowledge and information. She must be able to also locate, understand, interpret, evaluate, and use information in appropriate way and
understanding of that information in clear and accurate manner. A girl-child who is educated, possess the ability to source for useful and momentous information; she is not also dependant on the information that have been stenciled in
her mental sheet. Rather, she creates knowledge and develops skills when the need arises. The delivery model inherently defines education as a holistic deliberation between the teacher and a student, since the delivery model requires both a person who delivers and a person who accepts delivery. But, it will interest you to note that achieving the status of being educated does not really require a teacher. Therefore, the educated girl-child is not necessarily one who has passed through [graduated from] the academic environment; as the contemporary trend has made it increasingly possible for one to pass through an educational institution without being educated. To be credited as being an educated girl-child, you must be able to synchronize or match your INTIMIDATING credentials with outstanding skills, impeccable character
and sufficient knowledge. Not all the girl-children who attended a formal institution is truly educated and not all who were not opportune to do so is an illiterate as the delivery model does not make any meaningful reference to the qualities of an educated girl-child and the resulting system is based on this definition of education has proven to be a perfect unreliable producer of educated girlchildren.
CHAPTER 2 THE NATURE AND MEANING OF SEX CUM SEXUAL INTERCOURSE Whenever the phenomenon of sex is being broached, ordinarily two concepts crops into our mind – Intercourse and Gender. While the latter may imply the union of the sexual genital organs of the male and female human beings, the former would also imply either of the two divisions male and female, into which persons, animals or plants are divided. Hence, in discussing the nature and meaning of sex, we shall consider viewing the both of them complementarily or intermittently. For they shall both constitute the bases of our explanations of the nature and meaning of sex even though the concept that pertains to ‘intercourse’ may be given much attention for the purpose of this chapter.
Sex is by no means, a peripheral issue. It is so beautiful, wondrous, and glorious, that it is meant to express Godâ€™s free, total, faithful and fruitful love (West, 2000). Sex is not a simple phenomenon, it is complicated. Hence, trivializing it may be injurious to the entire human race. The act of sex may not be uncommon to human, it is worthy of note therefore to affirm that sex without responsibility amounts to abuse. This reason according to Burrow (2000) is due to the fact that sex is never free. For him, it may be easy to get but it is not necessarily easy to walk away from. Sex as a spiritual phenomenon, transcends beyond the insertion of the body parts into the proper body orifice. It also involves an understanding of its true meaning and purpose. To this end, if we become bereaved of this knowledge, the society will not fail to rob us of the tool to understand and cordially embrace the true meaning of sex (West, 2000). Sex is a deeply personal and relational
concept which calls for a ‘dig-deep’ approach to unraveling its nature and even meaning. From the Biblical orientation cum viewpoint, sex is perceived as a blessed gift (divine freebie) presented to the living creatures to enable them live out their lives as sexual beings created by God and to look into some of their most pivotal needs such as; interpersonal connection on the physical, procreation, companionship, emotional, and spiritual levels (Fitch & Davis, 2013). Similarly, for Christians, sex is a mystery, a sacred symbol, and a great joy. A biblical understanding of the nature and purpose of sex begins with God’s observation that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). It receives further definition in his declaration that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). It reaches its climax in the amazing assertion that this ‘one flesh’ bond is in some sense a picture of ‘Christ and the Church’ (Eph. 5:32). In the end, it leaves us with the creed that sex was
designed to be a very good and very holy thing (Fitch & Davis, 2013). Sex is safe, pleasurable, holy and good especially when it is being used in tandem with the sex manual as provided by God the manufacturer. Sex was designed to be connubial by God. That is, to give pleasure and excitement to married couples ‘So Sarah laughed to herself and said … can I still enjoy sex’ (Gen. 18:2). Sex is neither a veritable tool for punishment, retaliation for a wrong done nor is it a measure used to amass wealth or gain unmerited favour. In the book of (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), Saint Paul directs the people of Corinth that men should fulfill their duties as men and wives to do the same too. He also instructed them as married couple not to deny each other their conjugal right unless they both concede. Sex is a product of God. Hence, sex is a deeply spiritual issue. Sex as an activity came from God. But as a name, may not have emanated from God. The word sex may have
originated as a manâ€™s imagination. Possibly, that is the reason why it is mostly abused by man sequel to its lack of understanding. Sex is a consummation or bonding of couples. Therefore, you should wed before you wield. Wielding means sex. Sex is to stay within a man and his wife. It is meant to express wedding vows. It is where the words of the wedding vows become flesh. That is why sexual intercourse is called the marital embrace (West, 2004). That is Pope John Paul II can say that if we live according to the truth of our sexuality, we fulfill the very meaning of our being and existence (West, 2004). In sexual intercourse, there is both the spiritual and physical angle. During sexual activity, there is interplay of spirits and an alteration of body chemistry. The Virgin Mary was conceived of the Holy Spirit not through physical intercourse but through the spiritual angle of sexual intercourse (See Mathew). Sex is not just fun, but also a covenant. The sexual organs of both sexes were designed to seal union of both sexes in
marriage. Little wonder God established certain codes of conduct to regulate man’s sexual life. God has not gone this way possibly because he has loath for pleasure which sex brings but, because he wants to accentuate our sexual excitement and satisfaction and shield us from the injurious effects of misusing the divine freebie. Sexual desires are normal and healthy and self-control is healthy and necessary for achieving sexual satisfaction. It is destructive to suggest that sex is a secret, shameful part of life that should never be discussed. If otherwise, it then infers that sex and sexuality are not the sublime and holy gifts of our dear God. The idea here is that ‘good’ people do experience sexual temptations, sexual thoughts, or sexual feelings (Fitch & Davis, 2013). By divine design, sex is an integral part of life. Sexual feelings are part of our basic humanity. Our negative perception of sex leads to ignorance, shame and secretiveness about sex and sexuality.
Sex is neither just a biological nor emotional drive that one has the right to gratify in any way one neither deems fit nor a filthy, shameful thing to be avoided at all costs. Be that as it may, sex is anything but beautiful, fulfilling and holy mystery God created it to be. In line with this, we can view sex as part of God’s plan, and if it’s kept in the context of marriage and integrated into life in a healthy, productive way it will promote fulfillment on every level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. From this perception, sex is neither compulsive nor damaging. Instead, it’s a gift intended to enhance the intimate “one flesh” bond between a husband and a wife (Fitch, 2013). Sex which triggers psychological reactions is perceived as a perfect way to relieve headache due to endorphin release during sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse can suffice both partners with profound feeling of well-being and relaxation. During sex, sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, heart rate increases and blood pressure rises. This start happening during pre-play and reaches at peak
just before orgasm. Thus, sex is nature’s best way of alleviating tension provided there is no guilt or fear attached to the act (Gupta & Gupta, 2009). Sex includes the very broad topic of how our bodies work as male and female. Sex can also refer to “making love” or sexual intercourse. Thus, sexual intercourse is the scientific term for “having sex”, “making love” and a whole host of other names. Sex is an activity that is meant to involve the entire person (heart, mind, body and soul). Research shows that the best sex happens when two people love each other and commit to one another in marriage. Sex is an activity that allows couples to show one another just how much they love and care for each other (Fitch & David, 2013). Therefore, sex which entails penial-vaginal penetration is such an intimate activity that should only be between a husband and wife.
CHAPTER 3 EFFECTIVE SEX AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION: DEFINITIONS AND MEANINGS The Meaning and Definitions of Sex and Sexuality Education The concept of sex and sexuality education has garnered numerous conceptual elucidations by disparate scholars especially those in the field of education. But while these scholars may view these concepts in these different viewpoints such as; religious, cultural, biological, psychological, and philosophical and health wise, they all seem to concede to the truism that sex and sexuality is an integral aspect of life which every child must acquire knowledge regarding its nitty-gritty. For instance, Sule and Akor (2015) postulated that sex education provides factual knowledge to assist parents and teachers, children and adolescents to avoid sex related problems. They went further to affirm that knowledge
gained from sex education includes ways of helping children develop self respect, sexual understanding, define the values of interpersonal relationships and strengthen communication skills in sex and education which helps to promote a whole some and stable sex life. Orji and Anikwe (1998) in their examination of the concept of sex education, described it as instruction about sex and related issues such as the sexual organs and their functions, the reproduction process, equality between sexes, hygiene during menstruation, and dangers of unwholesome sexual activities (Sule & Akor, 2015). Accordingly, Hershel in Sule and Akor (2015) was also of the view that sex education is a powerful force and its true meaning has to be revealed to adolescent to enable them make rational decision based on self-control and personal code of conduct. Similarly, Sule & Akor (2015) also noted that â€œteenagers seem to know enough to get into bed but not enough to stay out of troubleâ€?. Therefore, sex education is desired to replace ignorance, fear, secrecy and
guilt with knowledge understanding, openness and rationality. Forest in his work published in 2002 and entitled ‘what is the need for sex education?” postulates that sex education which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationships attitudes is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationship and intimacy. He also pointed out that sex education about developing young people’s skills so that they can make informed choices about their behaviours and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices (Sule & Akor, 2015). Girl-child sex education is the teaching of a girl how the body work or events. Girl-child sex education is a process of enlightening the child on intercourse, reproduction and all other related issue and the changes that occurs at puberty. Girl-child sex education is necessary because she needs these aspects of knowledge in other for her to respond to nature without that knowledge, so many things
will be so abnormal and she may end up causing damage to herself. While Ikpe (2004) posits that sexuality is the very essence of oneâ€™s humanity including oneâ€™s self-image, being male or female, physical looks and reproductive capacity; that is sexuality is a natural part of life (Sule & Akor, 2015) AHI (2003) described sexuality education as a planned process of education that fosters the acquisition of factual information, the formation of positive attitudes, beliefs and values as well as the development of skills to cope with the biological, psychological, socio-cultural and spiritual aspect of human sexuality (Adepoju, 2015). Sexuality education is learning about the anatomy, physiology and bio-chemistry of the sexual response system which determine identity, orientations, thoughts and feelings as influenced by values, beliefs, ethics and moral concerns (SIECUS, 1995). But for Adepoju (2005), sexuality education is simply the art of learning how to
conform to a certain art of living by being able to reason, examine and monitor oneself in clearly defined terms. Attempting to explain sexuality education in their monograph, Collins, Allageri and Summers, (2002), used the definitions of the two terms commonly found in the sex education debate (comprehensive sex education and abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education). Thus, they posits that the former generally emphasizes the benefits of abstinence while also teaching about contraception and disease-prevention methods including condom and contraceptive use. While the latter, generally teach abstinence from all sexual activity as the only appropriate option for unmarried people. It has to do with equipping of an individual with the basic self-care skills and aptitudes required to deal with sexual affairs. Also, it is an awareness of the self-care mechanisms about sexuality. Sex education has to do with the teaching and instructing of the child about;
How the body chemistry works; How to take good care one’s body, including reproductive health; How people of the opposite sex take good care of their reproductive health; The type of self care practice that one must imbibe; The expected observations in one’s body and in the future; The normal and healthy physical changes; Changes that might signal a problem and the need to tell a caring adult or seek services.
In fact, sex education is the purposeful preparation of the child for and about sex and sexuality. Sex education is about sex in the sense that it is the process of providing the totality of the knowledge about the functionality of sex. While it is regarded as education for sex is because it deals with the acquainting of the child for sex roles and functions.
Adepoju (2005), noted that the rationale behind sexuality education is that it seeks to acquaints the child with factual and accurate sexual information and knowledge that will enable them understand and clarify their personal values, improve their sexual knowledge and sexual decision making and promote their knowledge about how all these interact with socio-cultural and religious factors that affect personal well-being. Leepson sees sex education as instruction in various physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of sexual response and reproduction. Burt defined sex education as the study of the characteristics of beings: a male and female. Such features make up the personâ€™s personality. Sexuality is an important aspect of the life of a human being and all people, including children want to know about it. Kearney (2008), also defined sex education as â€œinvolving a comprehensive course of action by the school, calculated to bring about the socially desirable attitudes, practice and personal conduct on the part of
children and adults, that will best protect the individual as a human and the family as a social institution. Sex education includes all the educational measures which regardless of the particular method used may centre on sex. He further said that sex education stands for protection, presentation extension, improvement and development of the family based on acceptable ethical ideas. Sex education is the provision of the child with the required knowledge and skills regarding the core reasons behind the many emotional and social transformations that take place in the body along with the physical changes that occurs as the child passes through the disparate levels of life. Such emotional, physical and social changes may involve; anger, worry, love shyness, happiness, excitement, etc. thus, sex education seeks to enable the child identify these changes so that they could be dealt with and possess the ability to fit into the society.
Borrowing a leaf from the World Health Organization’s definition of Sexual Health (WHO, 1975), sex and sexuality education could also be perceived to mean the conscious and meticulous articulation of the physical, emotional, psychological, mental, intellectual and social part of a child’s sex cum sexual life to the child in a manner that constructively and desirably enhances the child’s self-concept, communication skills and ability to love and be loved. The formal and informal learning of and about human development, relationships, values, sexual behaviours and healthy reproductive best practices in order to develop and maintain good sexual and reproductive condition is what could also be described as sex and sexuality education. In another perspective, sexuality education is described as the development of a good understanding and knowledge in the children about; how boys and girls are different and how they are akin to each other, how boys and girls perceive their disparate gender roles, how boys and girls
are treated differently based on gender, how these roles encumber or mar girls and boys, and what remedial measures could be carried out so that both boys and girls alike can live healthier lives together. In a like manner, sex education and sexuality education entails the effective, comfortable and confident discussion of sex and other sexual issues with the child geared towards making the child become acclimatized with the right way to think and act towards sex. It is the intimate communication of sexual changes, roles and desires with and/or to the child basically to provide the child with the most desirable skills for effective thinking about sex. Sex education means developing the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain of the child consciously and either formerly or informally to enable the child match his/her sex life with Godâ€™s design, and to accentuate the childâ€™s experiences of marital sex in the future. The purpose is to prepare the child for a healthy sexuality and
to give the child a positive and strong message about her growing sexuality. The Concept of Effective Sex and Sexuality Education Effective sex and sexuality education provides the child with the sum total of all the clear and reliable perspectives of and about sex and sexuality. Effective sex and sexuality education is mostly needed to talk with/to the child about the totality of some of the basic aspects of human existence (which is sex and sexuality). Effective sex education is to equip the child with positive beliefs, values and perspective about sex. For Sule and Akor (2015), effective sex education develops young peopleâ€™s skills in negotiation, decision making assertion and listening. They concluded by affirming that, for sex education to be effective, it needs to include opportunity for young people to develop skills as it can be hard for them to act on the bases of only having information. Similarly, they posited that the kind of skill
the child garners as part of sex education are linked to more general skills such as; ability to divulge pressures from other people and to resist them, ability to seek succor from elders including parents, careers and professionals, ability to communicate, listen, negotiate, ask for and identify sources of help and advice, amongst others. Effective sex education also provides young people with an opportunity to explore resources on sex and sexuality, to understand why people have sex and to think about how it involves emotional respect for one self. Also, young people should have the chance to explore gender differences and how ethnicity and sexuality can influence peopleâ€™s feelings and option. Effective sex education further makes them to be able to decide for themselves what the positive qualities of relationship are. It is important that they understand how abuse and exploitation can negatively influence relationships (Sule & Akor, 2015).
Therefore, when you are seeing to be prudently moulding the childâ€™s psychological, mental, emotional, social, physical, moral and religious attitudes and perception towards sex, it could be confirmed that the child is undergoing effective sex education. This is because, effective sex education has to involve a balanced training about sex covering all critical aspect of human sexual life. Effective sex education would make the child embrace a positive outlook on sex using a valid and reliable feedback mechanism through evaluation. To this end, the sex and sexuality educator must create room for feedback and constantly seek to determine the worth of the training and the degree of effectiveness of the process using concrete and reliable indices to ensure the progressive and simultaneous change in the attitude of the child. In an effective sex education process, the will and intellect of the child about sexuality must be critically analyzed as every effective sex and sexuality education process would demand a rigorous discipline of the powers of observation
of the child, her ability to reason and especially her will power. Thus, effective sex and sexuality education must also be that training which is holistic, inclusive and encompassing of all the critical aspects of the child’s sexual life. Sex and sexuality education is said to be effective when it has succeeded in providing undiluted educative and informative knowledge to the child based on the following critical sexual issues;
What could make the child feel good and what could also give her pleasure; The stage befitting for adventure into serious relationship; The type of touching not allowed for a particular child’s age; To what extent is it allowed for others especially the opposite sex to touch the child (this answers the question, How? When? And Who?);
What possible joy could the child derive for being herself; How the child is to respond if someone touches the child or (even tries to) in a way deemed uncomfortable for the child; When the child is meant to start having sexual relation; How to avert psychological and physical harmful practices; How the sexually active child can shield herself/himself from infections and pregnancies especially the unanticipated ones; Communal harmful practices and traditions to the child’s sexual development and total reproductive health. The Sex and Sexuality Educator The sex and sexuality educator is usually an experienced person whose biological and chronological age difference either more than or equal to that of the child. The person
would have gone through or is still undergoing the different stages of life (in the case of peer education) but must be vast and adequately experienced in human sexuality and reproductive health. The sex and sexuality educator can either be the experienced and mature elderly sibling, parents, careers, teachers, other professionals, guardian counselors, trained peer educators, trained health workers, amongst others. Naturally, any sex and sexuality educator should possess the following attributive features;
Deep interest in the child’s healthy sexual living and the derivation of ecstasy in doing so; Not just always being sympathetic but also emphatic and benevolent in their dealings with the child, her cultures, subjective creeds and sexual affairs; Believing in the dynamism of the society as regards the sexual life stages of the child as a changing enterprise;
Gross sensitivity to the beautiful and as well as the ugly sexual responses of the child as the child passes through the state of transformation; Subscribes to the human right in sexuality; Has a degree of knowledge about sex and sexuality and possesses the ability to source for the one he/she does not have; Has to some reasonable proportion a moderate skill and aptitudes in the particular art of sexual healthy living.
The true task of every sex and sexuality educator is to infuse into the child a noble and impeccable memory about sex and sexuality, mindset saturated with profuse sexual grandeur; the desirable fortitude to withstand sexual pain and injury, the preponderance of sublime sexual ideals and dynamic ethical sexual ferment. Similarly, as a sex and sexuality educator, the colossal onus also lies on you to point out what is necessary, useful, ornamental and
suitable for the child to know about sex as the child journeys through the discrepant stages of her life. We must however come to terms with the truism that with all the intensity we can command, refurbishing our attitudes towards sex, sexuality and the child will not only be the most rewarding activity in sex education but will also be the most pertinent and lucrative quota we can contribute to the society and mankind. Your efforts may amount to futility if the sex education process does not culminate in preparing and arming the child for the earning of an improved sexual life, understanding and an active participation in the challenges and hiccups involved in the making of an ideal and better sexual behaviour. Remember, sex and sexuality education in themselves, seeks to harmoniously develop all our sexual faculties.
As sex and sexuality educator, one pivotal and surmountable encumbrance we may observe in the process of sex education could be how to produce children who can think and act independently in sexual matters and whose thinking could be anchored on sound knowledge and an in-depth rumination. But situations such as this would always call for less worry and stress as the betterment of sex education does not only have to do with the negation of its cons, but also in the mastery of it. It is the responsibility of the sex and sexuality educator to answer questions the child has. The information should be conveyed in such a way that it is easily understood by the child when she is educated, the mind itself is curious to find out more about it any other way she can. Remember, in some instances, despite the method of instruction or instructional material deployed, the child can still become corrupt. It all depends on the child. A sex and sexuality educator is either a formerly or informally trained individual on matters pertaining to sex
and even healthy sexuality. Also, the process could either be formal, informal or both depending on the personâ€™s inclination. It is formal in the case of school teachers, guardian counselors, health practitioners and other professionals. Then, informal for the case of most parents, elderly siblings and their likes. In clear but succinct terms, a sex and sexuality educator could be an individual or organization who takes up the task of teaching the child about his/her sex life and sexual well-being. He/she meticulously and simultaneously develops the entire childâ€™s sexual faculties; feed his/her (the child) cognitive, affective and psychomotive domain with sufficient sexual aptitude and skills for a healthy sexual living in his/her premarital and marital affair. The person who positively shapes the intrinsic emotional feelings and moulds the extrinsic-physical desire and wellbeing of the child relating to sex and sexuality using appropriate principles and models without infusing any iota of bias cultural or religious doctrine or sentiment is an
effective sex and sexuality educator. The sex and sexuality educator must not only be knowledgeable, vast and/or experienced in sex and sexuality must also develop and adopt the requisite aptitude for the effective teaching process. Necessarily having the intellectual know-how as the educator may be praise worthy or commendable on its own but not the end of it. The â€œHowâ€? of teaching is also required. We can all function as effective sex and sexuality educators provided we unravel the rules and adhere strictly to them as the sex and sexuality has proven to be lucratively adventurous. You can decide to start early enough but knowing when to culminate as the child gradually develops into adulthood is also germane. Monitor, correct and help set clear standards for the child especially as she begins to wrongly use this information.
CHAPTER 4 THE BROAD-BASED GOALS OF SEX AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION Introduction We are going to attempt to identify the goals of sex education not partly but in a whole, general and inclusive dimension. This is to actually see how we can enable all stakeholders twig the ‘WHY’ of sex and sexuality education. Thus, we shall be identifying the school-based sexuality education (comprehensive sexuality education) goals, sex education goals and sexual health education goals. However, the primary goal of sex education includes the promotion of sexual and reproductive health. Sex and Sexuality Education Goals Kann, Telijoham and Wooley (2006) opined that the primary goal of school-based sex education is to help young people build a foundation as they mature into sexually healthy adults. School-based sexuality education
should be designed to compliment and augment the sexuality education children receive from their families, religious and community groups, and health care professionals. Such programs should respect the diversity of values and beliefs represented in the community. They further stated that sexuality education should assist young people in understanding a positive view of sexuality, provide them with information and skills for taking care of their sexual health, and help them make sound decisions now and in the future. Similarly, Kann, Telijoham and Wooley (2006), in their result publication which they entitled; â€œHealth Education: Results from the school health policies and programs studyâ€? reported that comprehensive sexuality education programs have four main goals:
1. To provide accurate information about human sexuality; 2. To provide an opportunity for young people to develop and understand their values, attitudes and insights about sexuality; 3. To help young people develop relationship and interpersonal skills; 4. To help young people exercise responsibility regarding sexual relationships, which includes addressing abstinence, pressure to become prematurely involved in sexual intercourse, and the use of contraceptive and other sexual health measures. Dalumpines (2016), on his own part also suggested six basic goals of sex education which he articulates that parents can hope to accomplish. They are; 1. That she might learn to give and receive love; 2. That she may be satisfied with her sex role; 3. That she may respect her own body;
4. That she will understand and accept bodily changes; 5. That she will know and appreciate how life began; 6. That she may eventually live by sound standards of sexual thoughts. The Calgary Board of Education (2002-2016), in an attempt to clarify the goals of sexual Health Education affirmed that in order to achieve the goals it is expected that Health Education programs strive towards; 1. Building self-confidence in individuals; 2. Developing positive relationships with others; 3. Providing a safe environment in which students feel free to discuss related topics; 4. Promoting individual responsibility for well-being; 5. Actively involving the students in the learning process; 6. Teaching life skills that will enable individuals to make responsible choices and to deal more effectively with the challenges they may encounter throughout their lives.
However, the general goals of sex and sexuality education could be highlighted as follows; 1. To instill in the child the spirit of self-control and self-discovery when dealing with her sexual life; 2. To harmoniously develop all the sexual thinking faculties of the child through sustainable enlightenment and training; 3. To make the child gain knowledge of how to use the whole of oneself for sexual health life and to fulfill the childâ€™s future marital conjugal onus according to natural design; 4. To maintain the demanded rigorous discipline of the powers of observation, reasoning and especially of the will of the child pertaining to the childâ€™s societal sexual interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions; 5. To generate and regenerate positive sexual norms and creeds and review the anachronistic cultural sexual practices and beliefs with a view to increasing the sensitivity of the child to those
ugly practices as a step towards providing a remedy; To promote a certain degree of knowledge about human sexuality to the child, and at least acquaint the child with a moderate skill in the art of sexual living; To train an informed child who can think independently when the need arises about her sexuality based on sound knowledge; To accustomed the child on how to judiciously utilize her natural sexual will; To help the child understand the how and why of the growing of the sexual being through learning and knowing; To explicate sexual roles and enhance healthy sexual living using international best practices s models.
SYSTEM AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF SEX AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION Background to the Study Sex education deals with the delivery of orientation to the required target audience on matters that has to do with the sexuality of humans, not excluding the anatomy of their sexual or reproductive organs, emotional relation, sexual abstinence, reproductive health, reproductive responsibilities and rights, birth control, sexual activity, amongst others. Traditionally, sexuality education drew its content from social demography, human ecology and family life. Details of these contents and the areas of emphasis varied between, and sometimes within, countries in response to the particular requirements of individual cultures and population situations. In most cases, sexuality concepts were basically meant to prevent early pregnancy and disease (Adepoju, 2005).
At the introduction stage, there were encumbrances in ascertaining the content of sexuality education, the way it could be adopted and how it could be taught. Selection and presentation of contents relating to sexual behaviour posed great problems. Although, sex education is generally considered as being pertinent, part of its content areas were highly controversial and turbulent whenever they were associated with cultural and religious issues (Adepoju, 2005). In view of this, we shall in this chapter, x-ray how sexuality education originated as a theory and practice, examine how sex education has evolved in Nigeria; look at the practice of sex education in some African countries and some other non-African countries of the world.
X-Raying the Origin of Sex and Sexuality Education as Theory and Practice
Sex and sexuality education enrooted disparate nations of the world at various periods especially those periods when adolescents (girls and boys) of those societies were oblivious of all relevant issues dealing with their sexual health and sexual reproductive systems. To state the least, any conscious effort to talk about matters relating to sex and sexuality with the child during that period was considered to be a great misnomer and â€œgospel of the flesh that could lead to sexual espionage, egoism and revelry among the young; the recipients were referred to as victims (Adepoju, 2005). The consequences of these cultural beliefs were excruciating and counter-productive towards the childâ€™s healthy living, physical growth and sexual reproductive development as little or no modicum of information or knowledge were left for at the disposal of the child for consumption. Sexual ignorance eroded the society and there was the brisk spread of sexually Transmitted
Infections, inhuman sexual practices, sexual rascality and unintended pregnancies. In view of this, there were several debates, agitations, revolutions and other contributions by different groups, individuals and even organizations. This brought about â€œthe sexual revolution of the 1800 which contributed greatly to the argument for sexual for sexual pleasure as an ethical substance which continued to be governed by relations of force, struggle and establishment of dominion mostly by the women who began to agitate for more discussions on affairs pertaining to their human sexuality. They queried and protested against rules and regulations which prevented them from the use of contraception and the spread of information about their nature and sexuality (Adepoju, 2005). The agitation of these women was however not far from that of Karolina Winderstom (1897) a female Swedish doctor also discovered the pertinence of orienting the child
about sexual hygiene as a way of enlightening and also shielding them from some rampant Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Sexually Transmitted Infections including gonorrhea and Syphilis and the progressive education movement of the late 19th century which caused the introduction of the idea of social hygiene specifically in the North African school curricula and the advent of sex education based in school. In her own contribution, Widerstorm (1897) affirmed that â€˜if girls got to know in good time how pregnancy came about and how sexually transmitted diseases were spread, they would be better able to protect themselves. In this way, girls were considered to be able to take responsibility for sexual health for boys as well as for themselvesâ€? (Lena in Adepoju, 2005). Similarly, it was unfortunate that irrespective of these good intended and fundamental contributions of the women groups, well-meaning individuals and organizations; and despite the timely advent of sex education based on a school setting, greater proportion of the sexual orientation
garnered about sex and sexuality in the mid-20 th were still being gotten informally from the media and peers and much of these messages were scanty and/or deficient especially during the period following puberty when curiosity about sex and sexuality was rapid. This became even more evident by the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancies, particularly in Western countries after the 1960s. Given the magnitude of ding-dong or if you like controversies which engulfed the nature of sex and sexuality education during that period, the great degree of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections dominant were used as the core reasons why sexuality education should be introduced in the education programs despite ardent rebuttals from some religious groups and parents. The subsequent outbreak of Amino-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the later years also gave impetus and impulse for the sex and sexuality education in most African countries. Thus, in most of these African nations
where AIDS was found to be at the epidemic level, sex and sexuality education was viewed by almost all the scientists that existed at that time as a pivotal public health mechanism. Some international organizations such as the Planned Parenthood also considered broad based sex education program as having a global benefit such as controlling the hazard of over-population and the advancement of womenâ€™s rights. Despite its fast growing popularity and positive potential, sex and sexuality education was still fraught with some vital setbacks which involved; what form sexuality education should take and at what level it should be introduced in the schools. There was also the problem of methodology. Sequel to this, some ardent advocates and serious promoters of sex and sexuality education maintained their stoic stands on driving home the potential of sexuality education such as developing novel standards removing deceptions between people and by the dawn of 1900s, more awareness had taken place which transformed
the manner people perceived sex and sexuality. Hence, sexuality education was introduced in Sweden (Adepoju, 2005). In all, as women now became informed and empowered with sex and sexuality education, their strengths numerically in the work force has increased making them assume a visibly significant portion of the society. They have also appeared more aggressive in their demands for equality in all strata of the human endeavour and they have also become more active partners in sexual interactions (Adepoju, 2005).
How Sex and Sexuality Education has evolved in Nigeria In the Nigerian setting, sex and sexuality education was practiced in the kingship systems and coming-of-age
ceremonies where the youth were tutored about manhood and womanhood. Usually, the core need for this was culture specific and purely biological in nature. Members of the society utilized wide range of contraceptives which involved virginity, herbs, breastfeeding, the ring, and abstinence; most of which were strictly meant for the married and kept as a secrete. Sexually Transmitted Diseases constituted a great concern for the society but they were hardly attended to accordingly while getting infected by them was so shameful and greatly stigmatized. Therefore, giving them the desired sex and sexuality education they required became the only way of acquainting the child with issues involving family relationships and public manners with very little opportunity for self-expression (Adepoju, 2005).
It was further highlighted that as school education began to expand in Nigeria, people had to start inquiring the moral view points about virginity and abstinence and wondered
about the credibility of rigid moral standards and myths that surrounded sexual issues. Also, it was recounted that the fast pace of urbanization encouraged rapid improvement in communication, transportation which brought about a healthy effect on sexuality issues in Nigeria. The use of telephones and letters helped to promote interpersonal relationships while the print media intensified and popularized the notion of flirting, dating and a variety of sexual behaviours. Intimate relationships developed from social activities such as dancing, singing and local drama sketches (Adepoju, 2005). And in the view of Adepoju (2005), despite all these transformation, formal and conscious information about sex and sexuality were still hidden from the child, discussed secretly and was being regarded as ungodly or dirty particularly by religious leaders who often viewed morality as being determined by the supreme being. But in contemporary times the â€œconservativeâ€? morality about sexuality began to dwindle with people gradually
beginning to concede to the fact that sexual knowledge can serve as a great weapon against ignorance. It was recounted that evolution of sexuality education and its introduction in Nigeria schools came about when it became apparent that there was, as there is, an urgent need to address adolescentsâ€™ reproductive health, reproductive rights and sexuality issues. Historical records also has it that the dire desire to equip the adolescent children for their societal roles as adults which will enable them conform to contemporary life styles became momentous as its fruitfulness relied largely on vital education and information on health care and positive relationships provided to the children (Adepoju, 2005). So, like Winderstorm in Adepoju (2005) will assert, such education will empower young women to have a greater control over their sexuality and reproduction to the benefit of social and economic aspects of their lives. It also possessed the potential which would respond to the overall life situation
of the adolescents, address their holistic well-being and help them realize their potential to the fullest. As at 1986 to 2001 when the prevalence of HIV increased in Nigeria, the Federal Government now began to consider developing the available information to the adolescents about sex and sexuality as a way of assisting the health care agencies prevent further spread of the epidemic (Federal Ministry of Education in UNESCO, 2014). Following this, in 1995, a coalition of 80 organizations adopted guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education in Nigeria for use as an advocacy tool led by Action Health Incorporation (AHI) (Esiet in UNESCO, 2014). In 1999, the countryâ€™s National Council on Education approved a policy to integrate sexuality education into the curriculum of all Nigerian schools. In 2001, a national curriculum was developed and advocacy proceeded to encourage implementation at the state level. Consistent with the system of governance in Nigeria, the curriculum had to be approved at state level. However, the curriculum
faced religious opposition in some states, particularly in Northern Nigeria. As a result, the content and the name were changed in 2003. The result was the renamed Family Life and HIV Education (FLHE) curriculum. Individual stages were given room to tailor it to suit their own contexts. The National Policy on HIV/AIDS for the education sector was finalized in 2005 (UNESCO, 2014). In 2004, the teaching of the FLHE curriculum started in 320 lower secondary schools in Lagos state with technical assistance from AHI and funding from the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Lagos state Government. By June 2005, 1,700 teachers had been trained and provided with teaching resources materials across the state. In 2009, the Global Fund approved funding for scaling up FLHE at national level in its Round 9 funding. The goal was to train 48,440 teachers in five years â€“ 20,880 teachers in the first phase and the remaining teachers in the second phase of the grant, with the longterm aim of securing budgetary commitment from the
government. To do so, a Project Advisory and Advocacy Committee was inaugurated in each state of the federation including religious and traditional leaders, representatives of heads of schoolsâ€™ associations, parentsâ€™ associations and teacher unions (which are very strong in Nigeria), as well as selected politicians (UNESCO, 2014). Even though Nigeria was for many years, reluctant to accept sexuality education despite the high levels of unprotected sexual activities, unwanted pregnancies, abortion-related deaths and STIs and HIV , Nigeria has now began to record significant progress in improvising sexuality education for over 10 years (UNESCO, 2014). From Lagos in 2004, it spread to less than eight states in 2005 and 34 states in 2008 (Esiet in UNESCO, 2014). Currently, the FLHE curriculum is available for primary, secondary and tertiary levels, but most implementation is concentrated at the junior secondary level (with very little at primary level). At state level, implementation has mainly proceeded through collaboration with NGOs and
state educational authorities. This typically consists of the training sessions for master trainers and then introductory sessions for carrier-subject teachers (Adeyemi in UNESCO, 2014). Having noticed the variations across states in terms of acceptability of sexuality education and in the quality of implementation, the Federal Ministry of Education in 2008 published Guidelines for Implementation the National Family Life and HIV Education Curriculum to serve as a quality assurance tool for stakeholders. Also, taken due cognizance of the need to foster exchange among trained teachers, AHI organized refresher meetings for them with support from Ford Foundation â€“ on issues such as the content of the curriculum, lessons learned, training needs and, importantly for a populous country like Nigeria, how to use participatory techniques given large class size. Finally, out of the recognition that reliance on in-service training is not sustainable, pre-service training in sexuality education has been initiated through collaboration between
the National Commission for Colleges of Education and AHI to ensure that the 94 Colleges of education across country can generate a national supply of teachers (UNESCO, 2014).
SEX AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN SOME AFRICAN COUNTRIES: NATURE, COMPARATIVE AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES Introduction How to fore store the fast spread of the Acquired-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Africa through sex education has constituted the major focus and concern of most African nations. To this end, most policy makers of this region has always made conscious and praise worthy steps to set up AIDs education programs in collaboration with the World Health Organizations (WHO) and some other International Non-Governmental Organizations. Following this, these programs were underun by the Global Gay Rule (GGR) â€“ a policy developed during the administration of Ronald Reagan the then president of America but was subsequently set aside by his successor
President Bill Clinton and then reinstated afterwards by George W. Bush who later succeeded Bill Clinton. As was initiated by President Ronald Reagan, the Global Gag Rule (GGR) was meant to â€œrequire non-governmental organizations to concede as a condition of their receipt of Federal Funds that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations....â€? Again, despite its reinstatement and adoption as a guiding rule for these NGOs and irrespective of its fast growing level of recognisability by stakeholders during this administration, the GGR was suspended once again by Barack Obama as one of his first official act when he took over the mantle of leadership as the substantive president of United States of America (USA). But before this suspension, the incidences of new HIV transmissions specifically in Uganda was already witnessing a dramatic decline because of the support Bill
Clinton was giving to Comprehensive Sex education approach (not excluding information about abortion and contraception). According to Uganda AIDS activists, the GGR downplayed the efforts of the community members to manage the level of HIV prevalence and HIV transmission. Sex and Sexuality Education in India Many programs seeking to promote sex and sexuality education in India has been developed not excluding information on AIDS in schools as well as public education and advertising. There exist AIDS clinics which aim at making available assistance and information that can be found in most cities and many small villages. This is also what the Honourable Minister for Health and Family Welfare of India Shri Gulam Nabbi Azad said in 2011 regarding the nature of sexuality education in India. He says: â€œIndia has a strong prevention program which goes hand in hand with care, support and treatment. We have been able to contain the epidemic with a prevalence
of just 0.31%. We have also brought about a decline of 50% in new infections annually”. Sex and Sexuality Education in Thailand Only in Thailand has there been progress on sex education, with the boundaries being pushed forward with each revision of the curriculum. Sexuality education was the first national policy in schools to be announced in 1938, but it was not taught in schools not until 1978 when it was included in Thailand’s basic educational curriculum for secondary schools. As at then, it was known as; “Life and Family Studies”, and its content consisted of issues relating to the reproductive health system and personal hygiene. Although, there has not been any form of formal training for teachers on this subject. Since 2002 however, sexuality education has been officially incorporated into physical health and physical education for basic education, although, its content has been heavily focused on the bio-medical aspect of
sexuality. Comprehensive sexuality education is regarded as a core strategy in the National AIDS Plan 2007-2011 in which the ministry of education expected to play a major role. In Thailand, both governmental and nongovernmental organizations are involved in HIV and AIDS education (UNESCO, 2014). Another novel approach in Sexuality education curriculum in Thailand has been the TeenPath Project development by the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Bangkok office. The project was funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) through the Ministry of Health. There three main objectives are; to develop a foundation of human resources and skills among adults to provide comprehensive sexuality education in school settings and to promote youth involvement, to create a supportive policy and community environment for sexuality education and sexual health services and to strengthen links from schools to health services (UNESCO, 2014).
The project team worked hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Education and other NGOs and the project is called: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and HIV prevention among young people (2003-2014). The project promoted comprehensive sexuality education by integrating it within secondary/vocational schools on a regular basis and by promoting participatory learner centered educational methods. The aim is to ensure that sexuality is covered for no less than 16 hours per academic year (UNESCO, 2014). Sexuality education as a transversal subject in Thailand is included in several subjects in the core curriculum and therefore the number of teachers involved in teaching sexuality education is high. Teachers expected to teach elements of sexuality education receive a four-day course. While trained teachers receive refresher workshops that focus on the specific topics such as improving facilitating skills, how to design learner-centered lesson plans, the positive youth development approach, sexuality and the
media. In addition, TeenPath developed a teacher coaching approach, whereby trained â€œcoachesâ€? support teachers in other schools (UNESCO, 2014). Given the highly decentralized nature of the educational system in Thailand, TeenPath has learned that school boards can be important; they recognized the need to build the capacity of school boards in understanding and promoting school board education. The project also reaches out to parents and the wider school community on issues concerning sexuality education. And then finally, in terms of progress towards policy commitment to sexuality education in Thailand, the office of the Vocational Educational Committee (OVEC) announced that comprehensive sexuality education would be included as a subject in the OVEC curriculum in 2004 and private vocational schools echoed this commitment in 2011 (UNESCO, 2014).
Sex and Sexuality education in Tanzania In Tanzania, sexuality education was introduced through a program known as MEMA Kwa Vijana (MkV) which means “good things for young people”. The program was designed as a multi-component adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention in Mwanza, Tanzania. It involves school-based, teacher-lead lessons, provision of youth-friendly services and community mobilization and awareness raising sessions. Obviously, this program is one of the even fewer examples of a rigorously pilot-tested sexuality education intervention that have been deliberately sealed up in Tanzania (UNESCO, 2014). The program was developed from 1997 to 1999 and evaluated initially from 1999 to 2002 as part of a community randomized trial (Ross et al in’ UNESCO, 2014). In the cause of the trial, in 62 primary schools, in 18 health facilities in 10 randomly selected intervention ‘communities’, with 10 comparism communities, the
intervention was implemented. A trial evaluation was conducted on a total of 9,645 adolescents from 1999 to 2002. The programme was however evaluated for longer term outcomes (including biological outcomes) again in 2007 to 2008 in the 10 trial intervention and 10comparison communities (Doyle et al in UNESCO, 2014). The results of the randomized controlled trial on evaluating the impact of the evaluation showed significant benefits to studentâ€™s knowledge of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), but revealed no impact on HIV seroincidence and hopes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence at three years (2001/02). In the longer term (nine years), there was significant sustained and positive impact on knowledge. A lower proportion of males reported having more than four sexual partners in their lifetime, and there was increased reported condom use at last sex with non-regular partners among females. However, there was no significant impact on reported attitudes to sexual risk, reported pregnancies or other
reported sexual behaviours or on the biological outcomes tested (HIV and HSV-2), (Doyle et al in UNESCO, 2014). To institutionalize sexuality education in Tanzania, the MkV carried out pre-service training for teachers and they carried out a reliable criterion for teacher selection aimed at making the program successful so as to achieve high coverage of teachers for the training, the MkV team developed a supported cascade system for selecting teachers for training. This was intentionally orchestrated to favour the selection of female teachers as well as encouraging those selected for training to return to their schools and conduct training within their individual schools (UNESCO, 2014). After 2000, the government developed the policy that only science teachers should teach about HIV. This created some encumbrances because the science teachers tended to focus more on the biological aspects rather than life skills. MkV was designed as a â€˜standaloneâ€™ sexuality education programme, but subsequent policy in Tanzania evolved to
promote an integrated approach. The MkV team has also paid careful attention to how the intervention and its scalingâ€“up were perceived by teachers and their motivation for offering sexuality education (UNESCO, 2014). Sex and Sexuality Education in Uruguay Uruguay, a country of 3.2 million people until 2010 had one of the most extensive sexuality education programmes on the continent. The programme was developed by sectoral experts and civil society groups working in alliance with the Ministry of Education (National Administration of Public Education) and the Ministry of Health. Sexuality education in Uruguay is supported by National legislation (most notably Act 15 of December 2005 and the General Education Law 18437 of August 2009), as well as the countryâ€™s commitments subscribed in international conventions, including International Bill of Human Rights, the convention on the rights of the child and the conventions on the elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women. The sexuality education programme in Uruguay is premised on three pillars; 1. The importance of sexuality in the development of individual identity and social problems; 2. Sexuality education as an educational process crucial to both citizenship and democracy; 3. The promotion of health in childhood and adolescence (UNESCO, 2014). During the twentieth century, several ideas pertaining to sexuality education were initiated in Uruguay which was grossly resisted by conservative social and political forces. The National Sexuality Education Programme was created with support by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) in 1986 when democracy was restored â€“ after the reign of military. As part of their opposition to strategy to the inclusion of issues considered to be sensitive â€“ gender and sexual orientation the new education authorities in 1996 suspended the programme. In 2005, with the first
progressive government in the history of the country, the new education authorities incorporated sexuality education as one of five strategic policies of the education system (UNESCO, 2014). According to UNESCO (2014), the 2006-2010 periods saw a process of construction of social consensus on sexuality education and the fostering commitment to its implementation. Data garnered from opinion polls were also importantly used in creating awareness within the Ministry of Education about the importance of sexuality education. Three disparate stages were developed to help improve the implementation strategy. The first stage (February 2007â€“December 2006) included the development of the proposal for sexuality education in the country. The second stage (February 2007â€“June 2008) witnessed the formation of sexuality education (pre-school, primary, secondary, technical and pedagogical institute) the development of a sexuality education curriculum adapted to different levels of the educational system, etc.
and the increased involvement of Uruguayan programme planners in sexuality education with their counterparts in other countries in Latin America. Then the final stage (July 2008–June 2010) saw the expansion of the programme throughout the country and its institutional consolidation (UNESCO, 2014). It was further reported by UNESCO (2014) that the within each of the 19 geographical departments of Uruguay, strong interdisciplinary groups were created to ensure sustainability and to collect information on the local and regional needs so as to tailor sexuality education more closely to the lives of children and adolescents in the country. The programme commissioned an external evaluation during 2009 with the objective of evaluating the quality of the action taken, the satisfaction of the ‘target’ population, and the achievements and difficulties that teachers encountered approaching sexual education in the classroom and at the level their institutions (UNESCO, 2015).
Sex and Sexuality Education in England As a country with long history of sexuality education, sexual education is usually incorporated into various obligatory courses mainly as part of lessons from biology in lower grades and later in a course related to general health issues. Just like UNESCO (2014) would report, sex education was made compulsory in 1970 in schools as the public Health Law in 1972 stipulated that local municipalities should provide free contraceptive counseling. Sexuality education was scaled up nationally in partnership with health services for young people. School health nurses played a key role in sexuality education, but also provided referrals to health services. In some cases, they were permitted to provide contraceptives. The health and education sectors were generally well coordinated at the national level. From the 1970s, to the 1990s, government data (school health
surveys) indicated that adolescents abortion and delivery rates had declined and this trend continued until the 1990s (UNESCO, 2014). In the 1990s owing to a recession in Finland partly caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the contraception of exports, the government made extensive cuts to social welfare services, particularly in preventive health care, including school health. Education also became more decentralized. In 1994, sexuality education was made optional and each school had the power to decide whether and how to teach it. The result was a decrease in both the coverage and quality of sexuality education in Finland. Population health data reveals that in Finland from the late 1990s, the ratio of girls who were reported to have had intercourse at age 14 and 15 started an upward trend to 2002 as did the proportion of girls who reported using no contraception. This was however in direct relationship with the increase in the abortion rate (UNESCO, 2014).
Just as Asper in UNESCO (2014) would describe it â€œslowly conclusions were made and education changed. A new subject like health education in 2004 was introduced into the school system and sexuality education was not excluded. By 2006, it became mandatory and a teacher in each educational institution was responsible for the coordination of teaching on this topic. And as UNESCO (2014) would report, the national core curriculum was the basis on which local curricula were developed which made sure there were some form of national consistency. Asper in UNESCO (2014) noted that only the knowledge aspect of sexuality education that was accessed. Further, in their report, UNESCO (2014) affirmed that after 2002 the proportion of adolescents who had intercourse by the age of 14 and 15 decreased, as did the percentage of those not using contraception. The adolescent abortion and delivery rates also decreased. They confirmed that prior to that period, Finland had already experimented with two other approaches of
selecting and training teachers involved in sexuality education and that before 1994, sexuality education was a ‘standalone’ subject, but addition to the workload of teachers teaching other subjects. Although Asper (2011) perceived that it functioned axiomatically, teachers were not necessarily well trained or interested in sexuality education Finally, UNESCO (2014) in their comprehensive report posited that from 1994 – 2001, sexuality education was integrated in all topics taught at school but there was a lack of focus and accountability. To this end, Asper (2011) concludes as he affirms “it is large enough to have teachers of its own who are trained, able to do planning and development, and take responsibility”.
CHAPTER 7 FORMS OF SEX AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION Background There are various identifiable forms of sex education which currently exist in our schools and communities. They are;
Comprehensive sexuality education Abstinence-based sexuality education Fear-based sex and sexuality education Abstinence-only-until-marriage sex and sexuality education
Although, these various models of sex and sexuality education may have been in existing, much attention and premium have always been placed on the comprehensive sex education and abstinence only sex education by experts and stakeholders and one would rather wonder why. However, this level of attention and debate arrogated to these forms of sex and sex education may not be
unconnected with their holistic nature, moral content and pivotal role in the development of the girl-child. Even though we may a conscious and meticulous effort to explicate the above stated forms of sex and sexuality education, our focus will not be far from the comprehensive sexuality education and abstinence only sex education. While some experts would argue that the comprehensive sexuality education programme can achieve positive behavioural changes among young girlchildren and ameliorate Sexually Transmitted Infections and discourage girl-children from initiating sexual activity at the early stage or acquire many sexual partners, others believe that there are no evidence to reveal that abstinence â€“ only program delay sexual invitation or reduce sexually Transmitted Infections or pregnancy. Thus, these forms of sex and sexuality education provides the sex education with an array of approaches through which his sex education message could be better driven
home and they are highly characterized with their disparate distinctive contents depending on their scope. Following this, we shall in this chapter consider the following issues;
Clearly explicate the two basic form of sex education; Show how comprehensive sex education could be distinguished from Abstinence – Only Sex education; Establish why comprehensive sex education could be required for the development of the child; Provide the favourable arguments of abstinence only sex education.
Explications on the two basic Forms of Sex Education 1. Comprehensive Sexuality Education This is a form of sexuality education that is otherwise known as the abstinence-plus sexuality education. It is the most advocated and argued for amidst the various models of sex and sexuality education by stakeholders. Its scope and content is holistic and all-encompassing as many experts believe that if this form is being made axiomatic in the educational growth of the child, it will help accentuate her sexual life and better her development. The core advocates of the abstinence plus sexuality education are; National Association of Sexual Psychologists (NASP), American Public Health Association (APHA), American College Health Association (ACHA), American Psychological Association (AMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM). In their disparate views, arguing in favour of this model, they articulated that
comprehensive sex education becomes germane as a result of the sexual behaviour after puberty imminent and that therefore it is crucial for the girl-child at puberty stage to be provided with adequate knowledge about the possible risks involved and to contain or manage it (Wikipedia, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/sex, 2015). Comprehensive sex education is therefore, a lifelong form of sex and sexuality education. It usually commences earlier enough at the appropriate stage of the childâ€™s developmental processes (possibly from adolescent). This makes the child to be well acquainted with the relevant knowledge about her whole sexuality and this form is usually adopted in schools where it begins in the kindergarten and continues through 12th grade. Abstinence-plus sex and sexuality education is described as an age-appropriate, medically accurate information on a broad set of topics which could correlate with child sex and sexuality, how human develop (physically, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, etc), inter-personal
relationships, the use of contraceptive, how to prevent contagious diseases, how, when and why abstinence from extramarital sexual intercourse and how to remain assertive in decision-making (Kann, 2007). Like the name goes, it is a more comprehensive method encompassing greater proportion and most aspect of human sexuality requisite for a girl-childâ€™s improved healthy living and positive sexual behaviour. The goal is not to keep away from the child with life skills and the desirable aptitudes requisite for sexual behaviour. It presents abstinence as a positive choice, but also teaches the child about contraception and the avoidance of STIs when sexually active. 2. Abstinence-Only Sex Education This form of sexuality education could be next to the comprehensive sexuality education in terms of interests, popularity and advocacy. There seem to be a contradiction in terms of content coverage and belief between the abstinence-only and comprehensive sexuality education.
The abstinence-only sex education does not incorporate issues relating to contraception or even the methods required for disease prevention. As a form of sex and sexuality education, the abstinenceonly sex education teaches the child about contraception – how to use it, when to use it and why is to be used. It also seeks to inform the child that abstinence until marriage is key to a healthy sexual living and self development. The proponents of abstinence only sexuality education advocates that; a reliable sexuality education should be able to also teach and promote good moral standards of behaviour. They further contend that a morality which is based on sex only within the bounds of marriage is “healthy and conservative” and that value free knowledge of the body may lead to immoral, unhealthy and harmful practices (Wikipedia, 2015). The advocates of abstinence-only sex education agree that; information about sex, contraception and HIV can
encourage early sexual activity among young people. They have further postulated that traditional values and religious faith, which they believe are consistent with the abstinence-only message, have measurable positive effects (Collins, Allagiri & Summers, 2002). The abstinence-only sex education model attempts to incorporate cultural values and religious beliefs as the guide and focus in the development and practice of sex education. It involves either a direct or indirect allusion to moral principles in the process of the child’s sex education and sexual development. Due to it’s somewhat ‘moralistic’ outlook, certain information which are believed to be capable of reducing the moral uprightness of the child and promote her sexual behaviour or involvement are excluded entirely. It emphasizes abstinence from all sexual interaction (behaviour) outside of marriage and is designed to manage the sexual activity of adolescents through the instilling of guilt, shame and fear into the child. This form rely only on
advancing negative messages relating to sex and sexuality, alter information about condom usage, indirectly promote gender bias, sexual orientation, marriage, family structure and pregnancy option (Kann, 2007). It is not comprehensive in terms of what needs to be covered in sex education and it does not make for a wholly sexually informed child. This is that form of sex education that; i. Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school â€“ age children; ii. Has as its exclusive purpose to teach social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity; iii. Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out of wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems; iv. Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;
v. Teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects; vi. Teaches that bearing children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the childâ€™s parents and society; vii. Teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances; viii. Teaches the importance of attaining selfsufficiency before engaging in sexual activity (Collins, Allagiri & Summers 2002).
The Distinction between Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only Sex Education Considering the level of currency these two basic methods of sex education have gained in this field and the ding-
dong that have surrounded their content, development, application and relevance to the society, it is pertinent that we attempt to explicate adduce their disparities for further comprehension. Collins et al (2002), in their discourse on sexuality education, attempted to differentiate the comprehensive sex education from the abstinence-only sex education. They stated that; 1. Comprehensive sex education programs explore the context for and meanings involved in sex while the abstinence-only sex education includes discussions of values, character building and in some cases refusal skills; 2. Comprehensive sex education by virtue of its nature of training, acknowledges that many teenagers will become sexually active while the abstinence-only sex education do not acknowledge that many teenagers will become sexually active sequel to the type of training being given;
3. Comprehensive sex education teach about contraception and condom use while the abstinenceonly sex education do not teach about contraception or condom use; 4. Comprehensive sex education usually includes discussions about contraception, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV while the abstinenceonly sex education avoid discussions of abortion and cite sexually transmitted diseases and HIV as reasons to remain abstinent. In a similar parlance, the discrepancies existing between the comprehensive sex education and abstinence only sex education could be further made manifest using the following headings;
1. Content coverage 2. Application/Implementation 3. Relevance to the child and society
4. Character building and values 5. Skills (Refusal skills, assertiveness, decisionmaking) 6. Morality and culture 1. Content Coverage: The scope of the comprehensive sex education is wide and broad and sexuality issues are usually extensively elucidated attempting to leave out no sexual discourse. The content covers the use of contraceptives, condom and STIs. They seek to touch several aspects of the childâ€™s sexuality thereby making the content appear encompassing and inclusive. On the other hand, abstinence only sex education has a specific and definite scope in terms of content coverage. Not all sexual related discourses are talked about due to some moral cum cultural reasons. Some points are deliberately excluded from the sex education content particularly the ones perceived to be capable of making the child sexually active.
2. Application: Due to their moral and cultural variations in contents their degree of applicability varies. While the comprehensive sexuality education is widely applied in secular schools, the abstinence only sex education is basically adopted in religious institutions, some homes, and missionary schools, amongst others. While the abstinence only sex education may be considered as been suitably applicable to children of all school age, the comprehensive sex education may not. Thus, both comprehensive sexuality education and abstinence only sexuality education are all relatively applicable with a high propensity in their various specific areas of interest and desirability. 3. Relevance to the child and society: Comprehensive sex education and abstinence only sex education are both contributory to the childâ€™s and societyâ€™s development but in disparate perspectives. The abstinence only sexuality education is relevant to the child and by extension, the society in the sense that due to its level of advocacy and
content, about sexual morality, the degree of unintended child pregnancies will be reduced, contraction of venereal diseases controlled and a decorous sexual behaviour advanced thereby promoting a more responsible citizenship. On the other hand, the comprehensive sexuality education believes in the intensive and inclusive sexuality training by arming the child with all the knowledge desirable for her to sexually interact effectively in the society with little or no exposure to the risk of becoming sexually abused or enslaved at the slightest indulgence. Comprehensive sexuality education exposes the child to all aspect of human sexuality. Abstinence only sexuality education skips certain aspects for fear of prematurely provoking the childâ€™s sexual behaviour at an unanticipated stage of life. 4. Character building and value acquisition: The abstinence only sexuality education places much premium in moulding the sexual behaviour of the child and her
attitude towards sexual desires and advances. It invariably introduces and upholds sexual chastity and modesty through the preaching of the message of total abstinence until marriage. On the other hand, this does not suggest that comprehensive sexuality education is designed to promote sexual rascality among girl-children children but its obvious inability to out rightly excoriate sexual indulgence by preaching total abstinence until marriage rather, teaching how to prevent the risks involved in sexual interaction even with sexual intercourse increases the level of sexual indulgence while promoting lack of sexual chastity and modesty. While the abstinence only sex education emphasizes the portraying of values and behaviour in sex, the comprehensive sexuality education emphasizes the need for a total acquisition of the knowledge about sex and sexuality education not minding the effect in the long-run.
5. Skills and Aptitude: Part of the focus of the abstinence only sexuality education lies in developing the refusal, assertive and decision-making skills of the girlchild through conscious conscientisation; while for that of the comprehensive sexuality education, part of its attention is based on the development of the participatory and preventive skills of the girl-child. The abstinence only sexuality education develops the girl-childâ€™s aptitude and will-power to totally abstain and refuse several advances. While the comprehensive sex education inadvertently provides the girl-child with the aptitude for an anticipated â€˜safeâ€™ sex indulgence. 6. Morality and Culture: In abstinence only sex education, moral conducts and cultural practices are being alluded to and promoted. The contents are being couched in-tandem with exemplary moral principles and commendable cultural norms. But for the comprehensive sex education, morality and culture are less emphasized. Even though they may have invariably hipped morality
and cultural norms, through their sex education message, their focus does not exclusively lie there. While the abstinence only sexuality education may indirectly preach that pre-marital sexual indulgence is bad, the comprehensive sexuality education will invariably teach that the consequences are morally debilitating, emotionally injurious and culturally discriminatory. The abstinence only sex education views sex mostly in the moral perspective. On the other hand, the comprehensive sexuality education comes from the realistic perspective. The Relationship between Comprehensive Education and Abstinence Only Sex Education
Their relationship could be expressed as follows; 1. Promotion of the avoidance of indiscriminate sexual intercourse; 2. They do not seek to encourage teens to start having sexual premarital sexual intercourse; 3. Reduction in the number of sexual partners;
4. Delay in the onset of sexual intercourse; 5. They teach and agree on the need for personal hygiene especially during puberty and teenage age; 6. Reduces he high risk of sexually transmitted infections; 7. Helps to curb the high rate of unintended pregnancies and indiscriminate abortions; 8. Ameliorates the degree of sexual abuse and violence; 9. Controls the rate of gender discrimination. The Place of Comprehensive Sex Education in the Sexuality Development of the Girl-Child The place of the comprehensive sexuality education in the sexual development of the child involves the following; 1. It reduces the degree of apathy and ignorance in terms of sexual awareness through the adoption of an all-encompassing approach to sexuality education; 2. It is not highly conservative in nature specifically in relation to its theoretical and practical aspects. Thus, equipping the child with improved technical and preventive skills for future sexual interaction;
3. It is more balanced and moderate sexuality education method as it acquaints the child with average and less extreme views about her sexuality. The Place of Abstinence Only Sex Education in the Sexual Development of the Girl-Child The following constitutes the place of the abstinence only sexuality education in the sexual development of the child; 1. It is considered as being suitable for children of all ages. In the sense that both toddlers, adolescents, teenagers and some maturing adults can be privy of this sexuality education without much qualms; 2. It reviles premarital sexual indulgence until marriage. This means that teens are being out rightly discouraged from having sexual intercourse outside of marriage. They do this mostly through the use of the ‘fear’ or ‘abstinence-until-marriage’ methods which are the sub-methods of the abstinence only method of sex education;
3. It ardently preaches total abstinence as the only sure way of preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections and unintended pregnancies; 4. It has an â€˜inbuiltâ€™ moral content which contributes in the effectively conscientisation the child and bringing about the existence of fear, shame and guilt in the child whenever she is being sexually arouse, sexually advanced by other and/or practice sexual indulgence.
CHAPTER 8 THE SEXUALLY EDUCATED GIRL-CHILD AND SEXUALITY EDUCATORS
Background Part of the core challenges bedeviling sex and sexuality education has been the determination and identification of suitable personnel to be involved in the sexuality education of the girl-child; their degree of participation, their level of experience and skills possessed. This surmountable challenge has brought about mixed versions of sex education contents especially those ones that are done outside the corridors of the school due to lack of synergized content and divergent experiences by the disparate educators. Due to this factor which is amongst other factors, the girlchild grow-up with several diluted and misconstrued sexuality messages which culminates in her inadequate sex and sexual orientation. As a girl-child, being sexually educated is not a function of merely receiving messages about sex but the ability translate such messages into practical experiences and a
positive change in sexual behaviour which will in turn, transform her into a better sexual being. When you become sexually educated, as a girl-child, it now implies that you have successfully equipped every aspect of your sex and sexual faculty, known how to make a tool of every part of them and how to use them in all sexual practical activities and purposes. Girl-child sex education by her sexuality educators has to do with the specific pattern through which a balanced, undiluted, verifiable and generally acceptable sexual orientation is transmitted to the girl-child. Sexual education of the child entails the process of learning and adjustment from infancy to teenage hood. By being sexually educated, the girl-child tends to accentuate her human sexual nature and modify her sexual interaction. She internalizes a distinctive and generally acceptable sexual culture, thereby, developing her personality. In this chapter, the following issues shall be explicated:
ď‚ˇ Defining the concept of the sexually educated girlchild; ď‚ˇ Discussing the various agents involved in sex and sexuality education of the girl-child which involves; 1. The family as the sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child 2. The school as the sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child 3. The peer group as the sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child 4. The religious institutions as the sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child 5. The Mass media as the sex and sexuality educator of the girl-child. The Concept of the Sexually Educated Girl-Child The concept of the sexually educated girl-child is one which has attracted abysmal authorship. Thus, suffice it to assert that little or no literature exists in this regard. That is why most stakeholders are swift to develop cold feet each
time the issue of sexually educating the girl-child is being broached. The lack of understanding regarding who should be conceived as a sexually educated girl-child in most cases has resulted into ineffective and inefficient sex and sexuality education that we experience in our contemporary milieu. However, it will interest you to note that not all sexually educated girl-children are sexually active. Thus, you do not need to be sexually active to be credited as a sexually educated girl-child. The most pivotal thing is to be well-armed with the nitty-gritty of human sex and sexuality which involves knowing the ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’ of girl-child sexuality and sexual interaction. Sequel to the above, we can then postulate that a truly sexually educated girl-child is one who has undergone a process of either formal or informal effective and efficient sexuality education that culminates in improved mental, emotional, psychological, physical and biological abilities
to participate effectively in new and strange situations in her personal and inter-personal sexual life (Ohaka, 2011). However, for her to play an effective and efficient role in such situations, she has to possess; General information which involves the intellectual sexual know-how; General thinking abilities involved in the building and critical analysis of that cogni-sexual know-how which she has garnered initially; General communication skills requisite for effective, clear, careful and exact sexual behaviour and interaction; The ability to even independently gain these sexual information and general communication skills; including the ability to engage in rational modes of inquiry; The state of mind that speeds up the process of her knowledge gaining and independent learning
abilities (Ohaka in Centre for Development of Teaching and learning, 2005). Similarly, her acumen has to also include relatively elusive qualities such as knowing the uncertainty and fallibility of the sexual knowledge gained, openness of mind, willingness and ability to doubt and question, personal involvement in gaining sexual knowledge, sex and sexual intellectual curiosity and the ecstasy derivable from engaging in such intellectual exercise. With these developed sexual cognitive, affective and psychomotor attributes, it then becomes realistic for her to begin to perceive accurately, ruminate clearly, and act effectively according to generally axiomatic sexual principles cum orientation (Ohaka, 2011). More so, it is when a girl-child has effectively trained and developed her sexual “intellect” and “will” complementarily that you can consider her as being sexually educated; as merely gaining the sexual knowledge without developing sublime sexual virtues regarding her
sexual behaviour is worthless and highly indemonstrable. This is because the centre of knowledge is the “intellect” while the “will” is the centre of virtue. When this happens, the knowledge and virtue will transform her into becoming more reasonable and responsible for her actions during her sexual interactions. It is therefore pertinent to take cognizance of the fact that if she only excels cognitively and fails to correspondingly excel in her assertive skills and strength of character, she cannot be seen as one who is truly sexually educated as virtue is entirely lacking in her. When you effectively nourish your cogni-sexual, sexual affective and psychosexual domain and then have the requisite ability to reasonably think and act in a more practical and virtues manner worthy of commendation, you can be tagged as a sexually educated girl-child. Being sexually educated as a girl-child means that you have developed the right perception (generally acceptable) about sex by knowing the right thing to say about sex, when to say it, where to say it, how to say it and whom it
must be said to. She is also that person who has gradually exposed her lack of sexual knowledge and advanced her sexual human nature and developed in herself a sense of power and success. By being sexually educated, as a girl-child it means that you have developed in your sexual life values and virtues (that is sexual norms, goals or purposes that one chooses so as to have a sense of direction and meaning to oneâ€™s sexual life). These virtues and values which she eventually gains as one who is sexually educated then constitutes the integrative and intrinsic forces that brings about wholeness of her person hood and sexuality. A sexually educated girl-child is one who has learnt how to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, understand and communicate information and knowledge about sex. She is able to locate, understand, interpret, evaluate, use and put into action the information appropriately and ultimately communicate her synthesis and understanding of that information in clear and accurate manner. It is risky to be
seen as a sexually educated girl-child if you have failed to effectively understand the nitty-gritty of human sexuality and develop your sexual faculties; learn from such understanding and then act upon them. Being sexually educated or enlightened is not an attainment but a realization. It is not merely an endeavour that you will get from a sex and sexuality guru, a book or a course of study. Rather, it has to do with that attitude that you put up towards everything that you do during your sexual interaction. The state of being sexually educated involves the very basic idea of being immersed in and surrounded by adequate knowledge about sex and human sexuality. She engages in legitimate personal and interpersonal sexual interaction and behaviour which are not devoid of true wisdom in them. To however, rephrase and re-affirm what has been earlier established in this book but in a somewhat disparate dimension, I would finally postulate that a truly sexually educated girl-child is one who has;
Developed sound knowledge of the functionality of the human body chemistry. That is, the kind of touching that can give her pleasure or make her feel good which is not permitted for the child’s age; The type of sexual self-care practice that she must imbibe, and how to take good care of her body not excluding reproductive health; Known the stage befitting for adventure into serious relationship; Known the normal and healthy physical changes, what possible joy that the child can derive for being herself; The expected observations in one’s body and in the future; Known the changes that might signal a problem and the need to tell a caring adult or seek services; Known how to respond if someone touches her in a way deemed uncomfortable for her; Realized when she is to start having sexual relation;
How the sexually active girl-child can shield herself from infections and pregnancies especially the unanticipated ones; Known the harmful communal practices and traditions that are counter-productive to her sexual development and total reproductive health.
The Sex and Sexuality Educators of the Girl-child 1. The Family as a Sex and Sexuality Educator of the Girl-child The concept “Family” was coined from Latin word “familia”, which points to concepts such as “servant’ and “household”. The implication of this analogy is that the family is household comprising servants who seek to meet the dire and earnest needs of its members and other members of the society. In Hebrew, during the ancient
time, the family was regarded as an agent who shapes the nation of Israel (Seminary of All Saints, 2014). A family is a conjugal community which is established upon the consent of the spouses. The family is a microcosm of the society that is ordered to the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The family is a miniature society made up of a man and a woman who are united in marriage together with their children. The family is constituted of members who are perceived to be equal indignity and this institution is prior to any recognition by public authority which has an obligation to recognize it. Therefore, it should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2002). A group of people related by blood and living together, comprising of father, mother, children and other relatives constitutes a family. For Pope John Paul II, the family is â€œa
community of persons; of husbands and wives of parents and children, of relatives. Its first task is to live with fidelity the reality of community of persons”. Saint John Chrysostom on his own part, speaks of the family as a “little church”. While the Catholic Church will ardently emphasize that the family is a “Domestic Church” (Ecclesia Domestica). Thus, the family is a “privileged community” called to achieve a “sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in their children’s upbringing (Lumen Gentium no: 11; Familiaris Consortio, no: 18, 21, CCC no. 2206 in Seminary of All Saints, 2014). The family is the “Original Cell of Social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life (CCC no. 2207). According to Leo XIII in Maurus, (2009), the family may be regarded as the cradle of civil society, and it is in great measure within the circle of family life that the destiny of states is fostered.
As one of the first and foremost core educators of the girlchild sex and sexuality and being a â€œChurch in miniatureâ€? (Familiaries Consortio, no. 49), the family reflects and promotes the true natural laws surrounding human sex and sexuality by consciously transmitting standardized virtuous sexuality messages to the girl-child according to nature. Through a particular patterned way of life in which the family members may portray their life, the girl-child will develop positive attitudes about sex, acquaint herself with useful sexual life skills and acquire improved communication skills for an effective sexual interaction. They develop good sexual hygiene and how to care for their body parts. For the common good of the girl-child, the family is bedeviled with numerous arduous onus of meeting up with the responsibility of developing her sexual orientation and lives through effective sex and sexuality education. The family is primarily essential both in the moulding of the girl-childâ€™s human personality, sexual behaviour and in
providing her with fundamental sex and sexuality education as she is meant to acquire all her values, ideas and skills pertaining to sex and human sexuality early enough from the family. Either consciously or unconsciously, the girl-child develops a great deal of sexual orientation and attitude about sex from experienced and senior members of the family most times through observation and role participation. Thus, the family is by no means a pivotal social institution that modifies the girlchild’s sexual values at her early development. As the sexuality educator of the girl-child, the family being a “little Church” as Saint John Chrysostom will opine, provides the foundation or bedrock on which the child’s subsequent sexual learning experiences will be anchored as it gives the girl-child the basics pertaining to her sexual characteristics and socio-sexual interactions prerequisite for her adult participation in social and sexual life. In fact, the heavy dose of the morals, values and ideologies she develops about sex is seen to be having a systematic
connect with the family. This is not unconnected with the truism that the family constitutes the primary basis of her socio-sexual reawakening since the family is also that infinitesimal society which she first have contact with. Therefore, gargantuan percentage of the blame and credit will always be arrogated to the family first before every other agent whatever turns out to be of her sexual orientation and philosophy of sex. The family as a community of resembled individuals bonded by blood does not relegate the fecundity of its conjugal love solely to the procreation of children but also extends it to the sexual education of the girl-child. The role of the family in the sex and sexuality education of the girlchild is paramount that it amounts to near impossibility to provide an adequate surrogate. Thus, the right and duty of the family to sexually educate their girl-children remains pivotal and inalienable (CCC n. 2221). Families should accord due reverence to their girl-children as a product of nature and as humans with some modicum
of sexual complexities. Similarly, they are to obey the will of nature by sexually educating the girl-children in tandem with the natural laws and provisos governing human sex and sexuality. The family bears witness to the responsibility of making the girl-child sexually knowledgeable by first creating a household of servants where virtues, morals, values, human respect and norms about human sexuality prevails. The family attains this feet through apprenticeship in sexual-self-denial, sexual-soundjudgment and sexual-self-mastery which remains the condition precedence of all true sexual free-will. The family is directed to educate their girl-children on how to subordinate their materialistic approach to sex and their indiscriminate instinctual impulses to sex to their interior and moral life (See CCC, no. 2222 & 2223). Every word (not excluding sexual messages) and deeds of the parents are like a fiber woven into the (sexual) behaviour of a girl-child, which by invariable implication, ultimately determines how she fits into the fabric of the
society with the axiomatic sexual creeds. According to the family blue print of Crowe in Maurus (2009), the family is “a place where the small are great, and the great are small; the father’s kingdom, the mother’s world, and the child’s paradise; the place where we grumble the most, and are treated the best; the centre of our affection, round which our heart’s best wishes twine; the place where our stomachs get three square meals a day and our heart a thousand. Many families have performed abysmally in the sex and sexuality education adventure of their girl-children by incredibly neglecting or unconsciously avoiding the onus of directing and guiding their girl-children sexually. This is most times predicated on the notion that they either lack the intellectual know-how, will-power or are even entirely oblivious of the true meaning and purpose of girl-child sex and sexuality education. The families (specifically parents) are indeed obliged to spend some quality time with the girl-children, lead good exemplary sexual behaviour, arm
them with impeccable sexual ideologies, discipline and teach them about the natural laws of sex. The family is the â€œnatural environmentâ€? (CCC no. 2224) for introducing a girl-child into having unified affections and healthy communal sexual responsiveness in the extended society. Therefore, it behooves on family members (parents) to educate the girl-child on how to avert the compromising and degrading sexual influences which threaten human societies; not to fail or falter when things go hard or wrong about her biological or physical chorological growth, and then love and comfort her most especially during her puberty stage which, in most cases, come with painful experiences cum transformations. In the family, the girl-child is being sexually educated and morally shaped as a biological animal into an integral member of the society. The family impacts a particular psycho-and-socio-sexual identity into the girl-child and allows her to define and re-define herself in terms of human sex and sexuality. Consequently, in an ideal family,
she receives the impulse and arousal for learning about sex. Unarguably, the family is the very powerful agent of the socio-sexual and psycho-sexual education of the girl-child. Reason being that her early years of formation are usually spent in the family; she learns what is expected of her sexuality and how to maintain a very good sense of decorum especially during her sexual interaction. She acquires the knowledge about the dress pattern defeating of her age and sex and how to wear them, where to wear them and what time to wear them. Only the family therefore, can guarantee an authentic (sexual) education in human value because, it ensures altruism and temporal continuity which are essential in sex education (Benedict XVI Caritas en Vintate in Ohka, 2011). That is to say that the family exerts the real prime and lasting influence on the girl-childâ€™s sexual attitude. In the same way, the family also ceaselessly exercises influence over the (sexual) life of the girl-child even she is
under the influence of other sex and sexuality socializing agents like the school, peer group, media amongst others. Be that as it may, some families still posses more adequate knowledge about the functionalities of the girl-child’s human sexuality. Thus, suffice it to say that the degree of the validity and reliability of the adequacy of the sexuality education being dished out to the girl-child may vary from one family to another. In the family, every child has the inalienable right to be well fed with sexual messages and towards acceptable sexual behaviours. The family is kingship grouping and sexuality educator of the girl-child does not form deplorable sexual behaviours because she depends solely on the family to detect and subsequently avert its reoccurrence at the early stage of her personal development; don’t also out rightly make her feel her misconceptions and attitude towards sex are sinful which are unforgiving for it upsets her sense of values and don’t be tempted to put her off should she raise critical and even thought-provoking issues pertaining to her human
sexuality, because if you do, you will find out that she will stop asking and seek the information elsewhere. This could possibly be the reason why it was revealed in the study conducted by Sule et al, (2005) on the impact of sex education in Kogi state of Nigeria 50.94% (above average) of the girl-children indicated receiving their peer group as information about sex from the media as the source of their information. While 46.93% and 47.40% of the girlchildren indicated receiving their information about sex from the media and the other sourced respectively. Similarly, they also revealed in their study that 83.1790 of the formal children indicated that would be desired to be taught about sex with their parents. 2. The School as a Sex and Sexuality Educator of the Girl-Child Okujagu (1993) posits that a School is an institution that collects, organizes and synthesizes human knowledge to be transmitted from one generation to the other. The school is an artificial social institution set up for the deliberate
management of the process of cultural transmission and social integration Morish in Okujagu (1993). This goes to imply that the school as a subset of the society is not a natural institution but a man-made initiative orchestrated to conglomerate interested and specific group of the society into an umbrella where knowledge is mutually exchanged for the value and skill development of both the individual and for the development of the society. The school, unlike family transcends beyond the physical structures and plants to the provision and use of reliable and valid modes of scientific investigation for the provision of authentic remedial measures requisite for the questioning of unconstructive societal suppositions and cultural superstitions beliefs. The school constitutes a microcosm of the larger society where skills are formerly acquired, knowledge gained, character and aptitude are moulded, values imbibed and norms promoted for the sake of continuous physical and human capital development of the society.
The school is a factory of human refinement and a sociocultural and socio-structural manufacturing plant. That is, it a place where the girl-child is consciously guided as she is being exposed to specific life skills and human experiences. The school is a community of people with discrepant ideological principles, family backgrounds, culture but of common goal and interest and in such goals they usually seek to accentuate their understanding of the society in which they are integral part. This is because any knowledge gained and skills acquired in the school learning process that does not develop the human capital and social structures will erroneously culminate in deviant and anti-social behaviours. Consequently, being one of agents of girl-child sexuality educator, the school engages in the character moulding of the girlâ€™s philosophy of sexual life. Through a formal learning process, the school sharpens the moral, religious, philosophical, social, cultural and philosophical sexual orientation of the girl-child in way that does not promote
individual sexual perspectives at the detriment of group perspectives. This approach is what we may infer as being a balanced sex and sexuality education. That is to say that, the school taking into due cognizance of the societal diversities would rather adopt a moderate and inclusive sex education content as it is being proven in the advocacy for the use of a comprehensive sexuality education approach. Sequel to this, it can be sufficed to articulate that the role of the school in the sexuality education of the girl-child cannot be de-emphasized or taken for granted. As a heterogeneous and minute society that also takes part in the sex education of the girl-child, the school to a reasonable proportion is adequately reliable for the provision of the fundamental psychomotor and cognitive abilities for sexual behavioural which some other educating agents may lack the intellect or will-power to independently and adequately provide in the family, the parents would not want to discuss those sexual issues which they feel are not in pari-pasu with their cultural or
religious inclination. But since the school understands that its constituents comes from varied socio-cultural and socio-religious backgrounds they would not want to contradict or downplay any cultural or religious creed for the promotion of the other. For instance; the Teacher would not attempt to impose the sexual-cultural belief of the Hausa man on the Ibo man. So, the school would rather take due advantage of the meeting point of both beliefs, make a universally acceptable meaning out of them and then dish out a balanced and valid sex education message to the girl-child. The school provides a transformational and theoretical sexuality and sex education experience for the girl-child. They achieve this feet, by bringing her out from the personal beliefs and the traditional crude sexual practices of the family to the requisites of the modern day society. The school also sustains solidarity in the school by bringing out in the girl-child a sense of belonging in the society together with a commitment to its sexuality
education approach. It inculcates into the girl-child a valid socio-cultural heritage using the curricular and extracurricular activities that go on in the school. Such as; drama and art (Literature), communication, role-play amongst others. It develops fresh knowledge and understanding about sex to the girl-child which accelerates social mobility. The school also creates better opportunities where the girl-child can become armed with a broader perspective of sex and sundry parts of the environment. Since ignorance brings about increased sexual credulity, which subsequently promotes the subversion of acceptable sexual perspectives, the school develops all the virtues and will-powers of the girl-child most importantly his intellectual, hygienic, psychological, assertive and emotional powers. They do this through subjects like; Biology, Health Science Integrate science and even the sex education programs. The teacher will also have to bring into the classroom his personal views about sex his
prejudices and right judgment, his fears and inadequacies in human sexuality for a fair comparism with the sex education content which promotes critical analysis and mutual understanding. As a formal sexuality educator of the girl-child, most of the unscientifically proven sexual orientations received by the girl-child before being admitted into the school gradually begin to decline and eventually ebb-away as she undergoes the sex education program. She learns to distinguish between facts about human sexual behaviour and the myths. This happens due to the fact that the school will have to now educate on simple assertive and communication skills and make her develop a standard orientation of sex for herself and by extension the society. As a â€˜mini community in the society, and girl-child sexuality educator, the school should do the following; 1. Make available for the girl-child suitable and convenient locale for sexuality and sex education
group training for a better understanding of the complexities of sex; Expunge the diluted and adulterated aspects of sex from the school sex education content and transfer only the standardized ones to the child; Compliment the girl-childâ€™s sex education with relevant socio-cultural and vocational training in order to translate her into being useful adult; Enable the girl-child learn how to perform her societal role; Co-ordinate and concretize the disparate influences from the society through which she is made to pass through as a way of acquainting her with the desirable socio-sexual habits; Initiate the girl-child into the habit of reliable sexual self knowledge and independent learning; Expose and prepare the girl-child to the world of sexual realities which may come with ups and downs and the dire need to accept it naturally as a challenge and stuff of which we were made of;
8. Develop in the child, the capacity to maintain decorous sexual behaviour which refines, exalts or purify her in the society with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness; 9. Equip the child with the capacity to sublimate and to direct her instinctive sexual hostilities into other creative and constructive endeavours and 10. Elevate her scale of sexual being and unquestionably refines her sexual impulses by expanding her affectionate desires and enlarging the sphere of her cogni-sexual domains. The school is the child of the society and the modern society is a product of the school. Schools are instituted by the society to socialize, differentiate and allocate roles, maintain and reform society. The tempo of the society at any given time therefore influences how the school functions. The school is very sensitive to the dilemmas, contradictions and contests in the society, economic,
political, ideological, religious, familial and other instances of the wider society (Okujagu, 1993). The school via most of her experienced sex educators portrays some impeccable and identifiable sex and sexuality behaviours which the girl-child imitates. These same teachers also transmits a body of sexual knowledge, skills, attitudes and aptitudes which are considered appropriate to the abilities and needs of the girl-child. They do this mostly through direct training and in unofficial circumstances too. They limit their anxieties by helping them control their sexual impulses.
CHAPTER 9 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEX EDUCATION OF THE GIRL-CHILD The concept of Domestic Violence Another name for Domestic Violence is Spousal Abuse or Intimate Partner Abuse. But for the purpose of this chapter, we shall adopt the term Domestic Violence as the working concept but these three concepts shall be used interchangeably.
Since we have adopted Domestic Violence as a working definition, there are two terms that must be explained before we come up with a synchronized definition. The two words are: DOMESTIC and VIOLENCE. This approach will make for easy understanding and comprehension of the concept. Violence is a noun word which was coined from a Latin term: (“Violentus”-Vilolent) and According to Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus, VIOLENCE means the following; a) b) c) d)
Physical force used so as to injure Powerful force, as of a hurricane Harm done by violating rights A violent act or deed
For the purpose of this chapter, we shall adopt the first 1(a) definition above. VIOLENCE is “a brutal, forceful, fierce, coercive or rough action intended to hurt or kill somebody”. It is a very
strong feeling that is not controlled. On the other hand, DOMESTIC is a quality that is attributed to the home, household or family. The term Domestic Abuse/Domestic Violence could be used and is often used synonymously and interchangeably with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Actually, the term â€˜family abuseâ€™ is a broader definition, often used to include; elder abuse, child abuse and other violent acts between family members. Domestic violence on the girl-child is a violent and/or blatant attack on the girl-child by members of her household or family which spontaneously or swiftly results into molestation and physical or psychological injury. The household members referred to here are: adults that are being joined together out of blood or marriage, those with the same biological or legal parent (child relationship) and spouses/former spouses â€“ those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship. Girl-child domestic violence is a physical
violence inflicted on a girl by their close relatives (subsequently referred to as partner in this chapter). Under the family law Act of Nigeria (1996), battered partners can apply to the court for a non-molestation order, directing the other partner not to molest, exasperate or use violence against them or for an occupation order entitling the applicant to remain in occupation of matrimonial home and prohibiting, suspending, or restricting the abusive partnerâ€™s right to occupy the house. The court must attach a power of arrest to a molestation order or her partner. Under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, breach of non-molestation order will automatically be a criminal offence. In cases of emergency an order without notice may be granted. Those who have been subjected to continued beating by their partners over a period of time may plead provocation or diminished responsibility if charged with the murder of their partner. (Oxford Dictionary of Law Sixth Edition: 176-179)
Section 3(a) of the Evidence against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 substituted the following definitions into the violence against Women Act of 1994 which applies for the purpose of that sub-chapter of the U/S code: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE according to their substitution, the term domestic violence includes;
felony or misdemeanor crimes of evidence committed by a current or former partner (sic) of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies. Or by any
other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that personâ€™s cuts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction Domestic violence hurts all family members especially the girl-child. It is a bane to the girlâ€™s self development, education and growth. When a partner is abusive to the girl, he or she eventually loses the trust, confidence and respect of the girl. This will subsequently make the girl not to believe and adhere strictly to the instructions, teachings and directives of her abusive partners, no matter how useful, important, constructive or destructive the teachings could turn out to be. Thus, this will consequently retard her education, mental and self development. She will also be afraid to communicate her physical, emotional, psychological, mental and educational feelings and needs to her close relatives and friends even when she is accosted. Girl-children have the inalienable right and
audacity to feel safe in their respective homes no matter the situation. With proper education and information, any girl-child who is abusive or is being abused can learn how to be nonviolent or move out of any abusive relationship. Domestic abuse on the girl-child can take other forms than physical abuse. Other forms of abuse may be constantly occurring, while physical abuse occurs occasionally. These other forms of abuse have the potential to lead to mental illness, self harm, and even attempts at suicide. The children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the United Kingdom in its Domestic Violence Policy uses domestic violence to refer to a range of violent and abusive behaviours, defining it as; â€œpatterns of behaviour characterized by the misuse of power and control by one person over another who are or have been in an intimate relationship. It can occur when she is in a mixed gender relationships and same gender relationships and it has profound consequences for their lives. It may be
physical, sexual, emotional and/or psychological. The latter may include intimidation, harassment, and damage to property, threats and financial abuse (Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/domestic violence, 2012). Domestic violence can happen to any girl-child regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation, age and, it can take any form, including sexual abuse.
The Role of the Family in Girl-Child Training and Domestic Abuse The role that the family (which is the smallest of the society) performs in girl-child training and domestic abuse is not controvertible or cannot be overstated. Whether negative or positive, destructive or constructive, the family plays prominent role as they are mostly the perpetrators of the neglect and domestic abuse respectively. Through the existing norms, beliefs, ideologies, principles and education of the girl-child by the family, the
increasing rate of domestic abuse on the girl-child could either be encouraged or discouraged, ameliorated or aggravated. The family has a great influence over the height at which girl-child domestic abuse could attain. Although, some callous and unscrupulous family members still derive pleasure and ecstasy in maltreating and battering the girl-children indiscriminately and it is most times, done with impunity. It is as a result of the rampart and common nature of girlchild domestic violence in our various homes today, that the adequate enlightenment and education of the girl-child as an inevitable role of the family comes into force. Without any iota of apology, I wish to postulate categorically that vast majority of families in our society still helps to retard the educational, mental and emotional development of the girl-child through domestic violence by ways of showing nonchalant attitudes to them.
In contemporary times, family members no longer perform their primary functions of properly bringing up the girlchild in the way and manner that seemed right. Rather, they (especially the parents) abandon their responsibilities such as; cooking, cleaning, sewing, caring and providing the spiritual and physical needs and wants of their children for house helps who most times, turns out to be sexually, emotionally and physically abusive to the girl-child. Some career family members always go out in search of greener pastures leaving the girl-children under the care of an “illiterate” and “uneducated” house help who in most instances cannot effectively communicate with the girlchildren, read or write as to provide their educational needs and subsequently give them adequate home training. This situation could bring about lack of proper and good moral upbringing and education of the girl-children. There could be a transfer of love and affection from the girlchildren to the housemaid just as the case may be. If this trend becomes known to the family members, there will
definitely be a ding-dong and altercation which can end up in domestic abuse. The family members (especially women) also leave their girl-children in the hands of some uncertified, unlicensed and unscrupulous day care centers (institutions) who neglect the necessity of imbibing good morals and principles into the girl-child. Some of the operatives of the day-care centers even administer cough syrup and other sleep-inducing concoctions to make the girl-children sleep for most part of the day. Consequent upon the family membersâ€™ inability to educate the girl-child and their abuses on her arising from their nonchalant attitude, she will grow to become a quarrelsome, nagging and fighting sibling or adult. She will also begin to consider some deplorable acts: stealing, masturbation, lesbianism, watching of pornographic movies or images, telling lies, fornication, and disrespectfulness especially to her elders amongst others as a routine practice. These misnomers most times, erupt in as
a result of the abuse of girl-children under the age of 18. The family members can also cause the abuse of some girlchildren by always leaving them in the hands of some unreliable and callous care givers. It may also affect her knowledge acquisition and her way of life, because some of those care givers are educationally, morally, psychologically, emotionally and physically incapable of caring for them. Sometimes the girl-children get abused educationally, physically, sexually or even psychologically by their supposed caregivers and refuse to intimate any of their family members or loved ones due to threats of being killed by the perpetrator. This of course, could have an adverse negative effect on the girl-childâ€™s health, moral and educational development thereby, defeating her capability to work and think effectively. Then at this point, the harmonious and peaceful co-existence between the family members and the girl-child could be truncated as a result of the domestic abuse. Reason being that she will
now begin to act contrary to the norms and believes of her family. This emanates from the fact that the necessary discipline she needed to grow was not properly imparted into her. Some family members claim to be so busy that they could hardly find time to spend with the girl-child so as to give her the necessary education for couple of days or weeks. With this, they end up alienating themselves from the formative years of their girl-children who will end up becoming violent in the homes consequent upon the manner of wrong teaching and information they will begin to pick up from the media. These pieces of information will now begin to reshape their values and morals. This is as a result of the fact that the family members who are suppose to look after the girl-child has not made themselves readily available for the guidance and close scrutiny of the nature of movies and materials their girlchildren buy and watch.
Many family members have also helped to fuel the trend of domestic abuse on the girl-child through their lack of perseverance and determination in any unfavorable situation they find the girl-child. Instead of them to seek for a genuine and lasting solution to solve the problem, they rain fulsome abuses and insults on her. Women like Koramo in the novel called A Woman In Her Prime written by ASERE KONADU, never resulted into domestic violence or abuse despite her predicaments and the insults she got from her â€œbad mouthedâ€? neighbours as a result of her inability to have a child of her own. The role of the family members also becomes conspicuous through their refusal to appreciate any good the girl-child does no matter how responsible or irresponsible it may be. The family member should always remain calm, cheerful, prayerful, and supportive to the girl-child by averting every occasion that may lead to unnecessary domestic abuses. According to Carol Voderman a United Kingdom Television presenter; on a talk about her family says that:
“she has never once heard her mum shout and she is 83 now”. She continues; “…she is incredible. She is very happy, slightly eccentric but loves laughing, which she does too”. Hence, the family should ensure that they make the girl-children to be enchanted always while they are at home and ensure the home is violence free. The African situation regarding Girl-child Education and Sexual Violence Girl-children all over Africa are finding their voices in their anguish and anger, making what has been understood as individual’s sorrows into public crimes. Violence against girl-children in Africa such as: ‘pornography’, genital mutilation, rape, incest, dowry burning, battering and prostitution has been regarded as a domestic problem, a personal violence, and thus, privatized and individualized. All these animal acts perpetrated by the society are a violation of the human rights of girl-children. Yet, all these criminal acts are still being tolerated publicly in all social system and in disparate cultural contexts.
It may also interest you to note that some of these violent acts unleashed on girl-children in some of the African states are legitimized and recognized by some traditional customs or courts of the land while the blames are usually apportioned on the victims who are most times girls. These practices are not also uncommon in the political domain where African girls have been excluded from the precepts and praxis of the fundamental human rights discourse. The parameters that have defined the discourse have been heedless of and blinded to the female gender. The paradigms that determined political thinking and institutions in our times have been centered on legitimated discrimination against and degradation of the girl-children (Women Violence and Nonviolent Change, 1996). In most of the African nations, inhuman treatment on girls such as; prostitution, poverty, feminization, sexual dimension of torture, rape of girl-children in prisons, mutilations of the genital organs amongst all other inhuman treatments melted out on girls are no longer
regarded as personal violence against females. The direct victims of this particular violence encompass females from all works of life and all ages whether rich or poor, old or young. This point could further be buttressed through the incidence that occurred in an Asian country, Sri Lanka, a female who has been detained alongside with her follow females, during her interrogation, described the pitiable and excruciating state of her fellow inmates saying: â€œshe had welt marks all over her body. She could not sit on the floor or squat. When we pressed her for the reason she said, she had been stripped naked and the baton the police used had been forcibly thrust into her vagina (Women, Violence, and Nonviolent Change, 1996). In April, 1986, more than 60 soldiers in Philippines engulfed and trawled thoroughly the humble abode of a family that have suspected of giving succour to the New Peopleâ€™s Army. In the cause of the search, the soldiers took away Piesie Parier a 14-year old girl and her friend
Edna Velez who has just returned from the Church. They also left with another girl who they had initially, apprehended. The soldiers took these three girls about 30 meters away from the abode and inflicted pains and injuries on them with sharp objects (Women, Violence and Non-violent Change, 1996). Let us also consider the testimony of one the young female citizens, Nituer Aydur, who was amongst the hundred students that were apprehended in April, 1987 after a widespread protest against restrictions on student associations in Anakara. The testimony which she made at her trial in May before the state security court in Anakara reads thus: I was taken to Yenimahalle police station. My eyes were blindfolded and I was taken to a place I do not know. Here I was stripped naked, and then I was hosed with cold water and given electric shocks. They wanted me to sign a
statement, but I refused. There upon they locked me in a single cell with a male student. We were both stripped naked. Under torture they forced the student to assault me sexually. I could not stand it. I agreed to sign their report. (Women, Violence and Non-violent Change, 1996). More so, in Buma, a female who herself had been raped described the rape of a second female detainee: The day following my arrest, a young girl of about 15 was brought to the camp by soldiers. She was raped in the same room; at first he slapped her, hit her, and raped her in front of me. I saw him raping her before my eyes. She cried but because she was beaten, she did not cry any longer (Women, Violence and Non-violent Change, 2005).
In a related development, several girls who opposed the khameiniâ€™s administration in Iran were raped before executed, because it was believed that virgins go to heaven. Thus, patriarchal control must be extended to the next world too. Kwan-m-suki was a senior majoring in textile design at Seoul National University, South Korea when she quit school to take a job at as small garment factory in Punchon. She was arrested on a charge of forging the official documents necessary to obtain factory work. During the interrogation, she was repeatedly tortured sexually by Mun kwi-Dong, the police officer. Her account makes horrendous reading. She was one of the many female political prisoners gang-raped and sexually abused by the police and the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (Women, Violence and Non-violent Change, 1996). The girls in most of the African countries are also being subjected to female sexual slavery which includes; girlchild trafficking, forcing girls into prostitution for
economic security, kidnapping of girls, the selling of girls by poor families to foreign military or local brothels or harems, or as marl-order brides to Western men, the use of girls as â€œguidesâ€? for sex tourism etc. From the above situations that have been vividly pictured, we could deduce for ourselves that deliberate infliction of physical and mental pain through sexual abuse, sexual harassment and systematic rape forms the greatest part of girl-child violence in African nations. These sexual abuses were usually carried out by group of men, by dogs especially trained, by the introduction of brooms, bottles or rats into the vagina. Finally; according to the report released by Amnesty International, the anguish, fear and trepidation of imprisonment was compounded and aggravated by the repeated humiliation of having to grant favours to obtain food for the child or self. The fear of impregnation and the social disgrace of bearing a child out of humiliating acts
are also constant (Women Violence and Non-violent Change, 1996). Forms and signs of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse on the Girl-Child 1. Physical Abuse: Physical violence generally increases in severity, intensity and frequency over time and it stands as the most observable and conspicuous one. Reason being that it has a relationship with the outer layer (skin) of the body. So, no matter how conspicuous or miniscule it may appear. This form is common in both boys and girls. It is also a form of domestic assault. Physical abuse is the use of physical force on the girl. Physical abuse or battering of the girl-child is a criminal act whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. Girl-child physical abuse in the family is simply a whimsical debar to her right in every family and it also has to do with the inflicting of physical injuries and pains on the girl-child. Though, it is usually painful and noticeable,
it cannot be regarded as the most painful form of domestic violence on the girl-child. But, few still view it as the most painful and excruciating. And when this happens, they end up stenciling the wrong perception and beliefs as regards domestic abuse. Physical abuse is usually accompanied with slaps, chokes, hits, kicks, shoves on the girl-children depending on the level of enragement or exasperation in the heart of the perpetrator. In this case, the abuser regards battering as a way of expressing his/her anger on the girl-child and may derive satisfaction if successful. She usually receives physical pains more than emotional trauma. Her outer appearance could be disfigured, thereby leaving her depressed and with a disgruntled feeling about herself. Girls who are usually abused physically or sexually by members of the society are at a higher risk of yielding up the phantom in the process or having serious physical and sexual injuries which could lead to unconsciousness.
2. Psychological Abuse: This form of violence usually does not have much to do with the anatomy of the girl-child. It includes verbal (oral) and emotional abuse that erodes the girl-child’s self-esteem and her sense of having choices or rights. Thus, the girl-child complains; “His body, so vital, swallows me up” (Women, Violence, and Nonviolent Change, 2005). Battering is usually not involved rather it negatively re-shapes or re-moulds the girl-child’s perception about herself. She is subjected to the level of sheepishly adhering to unrealistic and inhuman directives of her abusive partner. This indeed is a pitiable dismal. Psychological abuse of the girl-child is an intense and repetitive degradation which creates isolation and control of the actions or behaviors of the girl-child through intimidation and manipulation to the detriment of the girlchild. It also includes social violence that aims to isolate the girl-child from her kin, kith and most times well wishers. “He continually patted at our bottoms and
Fannies; he did it to my high school friendsâ€? (Women Violence and Non-violent Change, 2005). The abuser has absolute control and monopoly over the activities of the girl-child both in private and public places. The partner dictates to the girl-child whom she must see, what she must read and where she must go to at every point in time. The spouse prevents the girl-child from hobnobbing with her alter egos or contemporaries no matter how fruitful and/or productive that particular association or interaction may appear to become. Another aspect of this form is that the girl-child is prevented from either learning how to drive, getting a gainful employment, getting attune and acquainted to home appliances or using them freely without any restrictions even when the possibilities abound or even when she posses the rare talents to be explored. Unlike the physical abuse that deals with the restructuring of the womanâ€™s physical anatomy, the psychological abuse
deals with signs such as; depression, anxiousness, anxiety or suicide. It usually results into the dwindling and ebbing-away of the woman’s self esteem and consequent loss of her-esteem. Psychological violence on women is mostly cumbersome to be observed or noticed by neighbours, kin or kith as it is a ‘Silent killer’. That is why it results into death before it comes to the notice of neighbours and relatives. Psychological abuse kills or destroys the woman gradually. This means that the aftermath effects and consequences are not swift and spontaneous. It will interest you to know that this form of violence on women is usually carried out either unintentionally or unconsciously. It leads to intimidation whereby the woman’s pets are being abused and the woman predisposed to dangerous and reckless driving on the highways.
The abusive partner displays weapons, throws or smashes things, destroys properties; make the partner to be afraid by the use of looks, gestures and actions. 3. Economic Abuse Economic or Financial Abuse: Economic or financial abuse on the girl-child has to do with the unequal access to or distribution of family resources amongst her and her male counterpart in the home. Most of the girl-children and other stake holders ignorantly pay blind eyes to this form of abuse even when it affects them; just because, it does not usually come with physical battering in most cases as they erroneously think that spousal abuse has to do with battering alone. That is why, when the issue of domestic abuse which has to do with finance or economy is being raised, individuals and in certain cases, some stakeholders misplace it for battered girl-children who have been physically assaulted. Economic abuse on the girl-child does not involve physical violence. Plethora of girl-children in our
contemporary milieu, have suffered financial abuse which is also a subtle form of emotional abuse and also less destructive. But in recent times, this form has been overlooked or possibly minimized by the abused. In economic abuse on the girl-child, the partner controls the activities of the girl-child who may not be financially independent. It includes but not limited to the following: Taking or looting money from her hand bag or purse without her knowledge, sanction or the inalienable right given to the partner; Withholding some basic necessities of life from the girl-child such as; food, clothes, medications or shelters bearing in mind that she cannot cope without them; Preventing her from choosing her own career; Rigidly controlling her finances; Subjecting her to the level of accounting for every penny or kobo she spends;
ď ś Withholding money or credit cards from her and restricting her to a specified allowance and ď ś Sabotage of her job. Economic abuse makes the girl-child to be extremely financially dependent on the partner even when the chances of being liberated abound. With proper enlightenment, this misnomer could be curbed. ) Social abuse: In this case, the girl-child is being refused by the partner from visiting the family members, peers or alter egos and other close relatives. Social abuse on the girl-child also deals with a situation whereby the girl-childâ€™s activities are irregularly checkmated, followed about or is being stalked by the partner. The partner suspects her every now and then and also questions every move she makes or where she goes. Under this form of domestic abuse on the girl-child, the partner is always enraged and exasperated each time she is being seeing with a male irrespective of the type of
relationship existing between them. It is usually aggravated if the person is an alien to the family members. She is being called names, insulted or even put down by her spouse. It entails the exhibition of jealousy or possessive character, constant and unfair accuses of being irresponsible and delinquent all the time on the girl-child. She is also being blamed for the violent behaviour of the partner towards her and the partner tells her that she deserves every violent action that is being melted out on her, mostly the unfavorable ones. Domestic Violence and Girl-child Development and Education We shall limit our scope or focus on the effects domestic violence has on the girl-child. This is to enable us effectively accelerate our pace without any encumbrance. Domestic abuse and sexual violence on the girl-child have serious short and long term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems on the girl-child and leads to
high social and economic cost. The effects of this pervasive violence on the girl-child are enormous. Often times, the girl-child ends up believing that the only option left for her is to live with violence, for she risks the possibility of even greater violence if she leaves. And should she leave the family, she will be reduced to the state of penury and there will be a lack of supportive services to meet her needs. With domestic violence on the girl-child often escalating over time, fear of future violence often becomes the most powerful weapon in the oppression of the girl-child. The debilitating effects of domestic violence on the girlchild are not rare in families and communities where sexual abuse is rampant. Some of these arduous effects are associated with the perpetrators of the violence, some with both of them while some could be associated with the girl-child. Domestic violence has the effect of whimsically debarring the inalienable right of the girl-child to maintain control
over her own live. Her partner perpetually assumes utmost control over her live. The girl-child is subjected to the level of living in fear and isolation in the home (A place, meant to be a safe and secure place for her). This makes the abused girl-child to struggle daily with the view of keeping herself safe, healthy and sound. If the girl-child is abused often times in the home, she will always experience mixed and conflicting emotions such as: exasperation/enragement, fear, shame, resentment, sadness, powerlessness and amongst others. It leads to the encountering of irregular, unwanted and unexpected startling especially at the sight of their abusive partner and make them to be unnecessarily meticulous with their diction and action so as to forestall further battering. Sexual abuse on the girl-child makes her to regard the partner as a life time batterer instead of a life partner, when the incessant abuse by her partner encroaches into the family and she will now begin to live in fear unable to predict when the next attack will occur.
In most cases, it makes them deny unnecessarily of being abused by their partners if they are being accosted to be interrogated by their kin, kith, relevant authorities or law enforcement agencies in order to avoid further bruises or battering. It also leads to the casting of serious aspersion on the girl-child which is accompanied with the feeling off guilt. But, they sometimes discountenance, disregard or overlook the abuse no matter how excruciating it could be in anticipation that, their partner whom I refer to as â€œMonster in disguiseâ€? will repent from his dastardly actions entirely. Spousal abuse makes the abused woman to be highly dependent on the abusive partner. They also develop post traumatic stress which includes a range of symptoms: nightmares, depression, trouble, sleeping or relaxing, sense of isolation, panic attacks so many to mention but a few. Spousal abuse on women leaves them with the feeling of helplessness and weakness during imagination and then in reality, they possess an enormous amount of
ability which gives them the temporary strength which they in turn, utilize to survive in their day-to-day activities Domestic violence on the girl-child usually leads to untimely and avoidable death due to ignorance and refusal to report to appropriate authorities or divulge secretes to bosom neighbours and close relatives. According to a study of the use of health services conducted by domestic violence survivors, â€œ18% of abused partners visit a doctor in the first year of abuse, 56% after the second year and 31% have no contact until the third yearâ€?. Over time, the abused girl-childâ€™s self-esteem ebb-away. This therefore, goes to reaffirm the confirmation that domestic abuse on the girl-child can have a long-term psychological effect. Studies have also revealed that one out of every four suicide attempts by girl-children is preceded by abuse. The above studies simply indicate that spousal abuse could be traced with the aftermath effect of suicide and gruesome murder. It was also reported in a newspaper on the 14th of September, 2011 that a woman
was abused violently by her spouse thereby leading to her subsequent gruesome murder (Daily Sun Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. vol.6 No.2180 pp. 16). Domestic abuse on the girl-child has a significant effect on the health and life expectancy of her in the homes or other areas where the abuse occurs. It will also be imperative to note that “the number of times domestic abuse on the girlchild occurs in the homes is a great determinant of the state of health of the abused girl-child”. According to the World Development Report of the World Bank (1993), it was estimated that ”women ages 15-44 lose more discounted health years of life (DHYLs) to rape and domestic violence than to breast cancer, cervical cancer, obstructed labour, heart disease, AIDS, respiratory infections, motor vehicle accidents or war” (Violence Against Girls and Women – Introduction; Interactive Population Centre. In Panos, 1998. The Intimate Enermy: Gender Violence and Reproductive Health. Panos Briefing No. 27).
In all, domestic and/or sexual violence on the girl-child can result into unintended pregnancies, gynecological problems, induced abortion and sexually transmitted infections not excluding HIV. It also escalates the likelihood of miscarriage, still birth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight, suicide attempts, eating disorders, emotional distress the list is endless. Finally, sexual violence on the girl-child particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviours in later life. The abused girl-child may suffer inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for herself. It increases vulnerability to HIV. Sexual Abuse on the Girl-Child: The way forward In order to combat the menace of domestic abuse on girlchildren, there must be in place a primary prevention strategy with the past evidence for effectiveness for domestic violence in school based programmes for the
girl-children while they are still adolescents to prevent within dating relationships and/ or intimate partner relationships. This strategy to combating the menace of domestic abuse remains imperative and useful especially now that domestic abuse in contemporary times is becoming a mantra. The above strategy however, remains to be assessed and harnessed for use in resource-poor settings. Evidence is also emerging for the effectiveness of several other primary prevention strategies. They include those that; combine microfinance with gender equality training; promote communication and relationship skills within communities; reduce access to and the harmful use of the alcohol and change cultural gender norms. There should be an appropriate and timely response in the form of aids and succour from the health sector which could help forestall violence against girl-children and mitigate its effects and consequences. Since domestic abuse on girl-children occurs on daily bases, the utmost necessity, aims at the relevant agencies with the required
human and material resources to fight the violent acts on girl-children in homes. The case of domestic violence on girl-children is equivalent to criminal offence before the law and therefore, should be treated as one of such and not as a mere family fracas just as few individuals would regard it. This is because, if they view it as a frivolity and allow it to escalate, exacerbate or even aggravate, it may culminate or amount into maiming and sometimes death. Therefore, abused girl-children in homes should always endeavour to expedite action by swiftly reporting to all relevant agencies and stakeholders whenever they are being greeted with the observable signs. Since, a problem shared is a problem half solved. Laws which aim at slamming and punishing the abused girl-childâ€™s partner should be enacted by the parliamentarians so that it will serve as a deterrent to other abusive partners. Sensitization is another key area that also need to be explored if we must eradicate or abolish in itâ€™s entirely
violence against girl-children in the homes. Flyers should be distributed, bill boards created, sign boards mounted on strategic locations, rallies carried out and finally; seminars, lectures, talk shows, symposiums amongst others should be organized so as to sensitize and educate the abused girlchildren specifically and the general masses. Revealing to them the reasons why they must stop treating the menace of domestic abuse with â€œkid glovesâ€? and take the bull by the horn. Sensitizing and educating the health care and other service providers should also be taken into due cognizance. The law makers must also develop policies that protect the girl-child; address discrimination against female children and promote gender equality (egalitarianism); and help to move the culture away from violence. Another key strategy an abused girl-child must adopt in order to ameliorate the menace of incessant and indiscriminate abuse on them by their partners is what I encapsulated into these three words: Acknowledgment, Development and
Actualization (A.D.A) I call them the three cogent antidotes to spousal abuse on girl-children. By this, I mean that if you are being abused as a girl-child by your partner, you must first of all acknowledge the bitter truth that you are in an abusive relationship. Reason being that, many abused girl-children never take into due cognizance the fact that they are being abused by their partners until when the symptoms becomes excruciating and obvious if you have realized that timely you are being abused by you are partner. The next and second step you must take is to develop a plan by mapping out concrete strategies on how to be liberated or make your abusive partner repent from his/her abusive ways through a justifiable avenue. Then, the third and last [but not the least] antidote is to ensure that the plans you have developed are actualized entirely by pursuing the cause to the latter. Abused girl-children should always endeavour to exploit these strategies each time they notice the signs as they cost little or nothing to
adopt or apply. It is a more liberalized and accessible strategy for all abused girl-children whether literate or illiterate, enlightened or unenlightened, rich or poor, etc. They should also establish Residential Centers for girlchildren where they could be received with care and understanding rather than a critical or judgmental attitude. By the establishment of these residential centers, a friendly environment will be created which will help provide both support and solidarity and it will work effectively against the age-long victimization of girl-children. The centers if established, will offer an alternative to typical social institutions, in which girl-children that have been abused by their partners or subjected to violence are prevented from speaking out because of the traditional role of girlchildren in a hostile, unjust and sometimes even fatal environment. They will aim at breaking the silence, growing fear and trepidation surrounding violence against girl-children by refusing to allow acts of violence to be treated as
something trivial and by giving girl-children who are victims of violence the freedom to speak. They will also seek to provide abused girl-children an escape from violence by apprising them of their right, strengthening solidarity among families and developing social solidarity among neighbours. The centre will enable the abused girlchildren to gain the psychological and material independence to recover the identity and self esteem destroyed by the violence to which they have been subjected. Finally, the residential centers will create a network to help abused girl-children and enforce respect for the basic rights of girl-children. There should be awareness campaigns which will be directed both at the girl-children and to the entire populace. This will help to unravel the silent killer called â€œdomestic abuseâ€? and give the abused girl-children the courage to air out their voices, condemn in strong terms the reasons underlying violence and its impact on girlchildrenâ€™s physical, mental and psychological health;
speak out against the social connivance which allows these crimes against girl-children to continue; make the public aware of these crimes; and encourage reflection on new legal provisions to give succour to girl-children. Campaigns should also be conducted through the mass media (radio, television, press), publish posters, pamphlets and tracts, and also organize round table discussion, conferences and celebrations to commemorate events in the female childrenâ€™s struggle. Such campaigns will range from marital violence, clandestine abortions to participation in public affairs. In order to be able to excoriate the social mechanisms that underpin and perpetuate violence let us embark on different subjects that deals with girl-childrenâ€™s brutality at homes, maintain and sustain a sublime relationship with other organizations that defends individual rights just as it is being done by the formation of an association called: Lâ€™association de lutte less violences faites aux femmes (A.L.V.F) which means in English, the Association to Halt
Violence Against Females in Cameroon formed in the early 90s, the association aims at making public opinion and institutions aware of the need to improve the condition of females in all sectors (politics, society, economics, education). Finally, the World Health Organization (W.H.O) in collaboration with a number of partners, and with a view to proffering solutions to domestic violence has embarked on the following, which could be recommended as the way forward. They are as follows: ď ś Building the evidence based on the scope and types of intimate partner and sexual violence in different settings and supporting countryâ€™s efforts to document and measures this violence. This is central to understanding the magnitude and nature of the problem at a global level; ď ś Developing technical guidance for evidence-based intimate partner and sexual violence prevention and
for strengthening the health sector responses to such violence; ď ś Disseminating momentous messages and supporting national effort to advance girl-childrenâ€™s right and prevention of and response to intimate partner and sexual violence against girl-children and; Collaboration with international agencies and organizations to reduce/eliminate partner and sexual violence globally.
Conclusions To some extent, this topic could be said to have been systematically and meticulously dealt with. It ranged from its concept elucidation to the way forward. Though daunting, we do not attempt to pretend or claim to have said all about domestic abuse in girl-children. Rather, we have to a certain extent exhausted that which the nature of this topic limits us.
The dynamics of domestic abuse and violence is also disparate between boys and girls. The reasons, purposes and motivations are often very disparate between sexes. Although, the counseling and psychological community have responded to domestic abuse and violence against girl-children, there has been very little investment in resources to address and understand the issues of domestic abuse and violence against boys. Anybody could be a victim of domestic violence and it can occur at any point in time no matter your status or how highly placed you are. Therefore, all hands must be on deck in order to salvage the affected and effected populace. Churches, neighbours, governmental and nongovernmental agencies and relatives are all stakeholders and should not keep mute should they hear of spousal and sexual abuse.
CHAPTER 10 AFRICAN APPROACHES TO GENDER ISSUES AND GIRL-CHILD SEX EDUCATION Gender Issues Gender is often seen as loosely synonymous with sex and lazily synonymous with women. On several occasions the
concept Gender has been misconstrued to mean Women and women to mean Gender (citrus paribus). It is pertinent to note that whenever we elucidate on the issue of gender, the average Nigerian and some of the young school leavers misconnect it to mean women alone excluding women in its entirety as if men were all unproblematic in that regard or indeed, perhaps had nothing to do with gender at all. This could make women problematic in a way that categorizes them as a problem. Mutunga (2007) viewed Gender as a social attribute that are acquired or learned during socialization and defined activities, responsibilities and needs connected to being male or female and not to biological identity associated with masculinity and feminity. According to Mutunga (2007), such learnt or acquired attributes are expressed as power roles, resources and privileges of men and women. Joan Scott (1986) argued that â€œwe see gender not only as a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived differences between the sexes but also as a primary way of signifying relationships of powerâ€?.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines gender as: The qualities associated with men and women that are socially and culturally, than biological determined. Gender includes the way in which society differentiates appropriate behaviour and access to power for women and men. Although the details vary from society to society and change over time, gender relations tend to include a strong element of inequality between women and men and are strongly influenced by ideology. (United Nations Development Report, 1986:258) Mutunga (2007) in her part opines that gender is thus a socially constructed identity through which roles are
assigned at different levels and which can differ according to culture and can be changed by circumstances such as Gender is socially constructed based on the assumed power and position that a group of humans should possess, whereas sex is based solely on biological division (Eagle & Steffan, 1984). There are two major perspectives that cannot be ignored when discussing gender issues and if these two perspectives are not tackled, the gender issues discussion will be rendered incomplete and incoherent. These two perspectives of gender issues are:
The Feminist Theory
The Gender Studies
The Feminist Theory centers on the theorization of women’s oppression. This theory deals most especially with “who”, “Where” and “how” the
females are being discriminated and dehumanized in the contemporary society. ď ś The gender studies deals with the critical investigation into the ways and manners in which sexuality and sex could become power relations in society. The sexuality being referred to in this regard deals with sexual behaviour, characters and attributes of mankind. The sex being referred to in this regard do not connote sexual intercourse just as few crass ignorant individuals will misinterpret. Rather, it connotes the male and female gender. These conceptualizations are no doubt germane and essential to issue of gender differentiation and categorization. Being either a male or female is merely a cultural division that is universally axiomatic by vast majority of the populace. Due to the glaring disparities and discrepancies that exist in these divisions, the individual, through his/her early years of growth and development is imparted and impacted with the socialization that is in tandem with the
onus that is expected by culture and the immediate society. In this case, the division between the male and female which is based on oneâ€™s physiological make up cannot be akin to the biological division which is based on gender. It is also imperative to take this into due cognizance that: If there is a serious social change in the value system, gender is likely to change. Although, this varies from society to society, the variation has persisted from generation to generation. Also, in common parlance of contemporary times, gender has become a euphemism for sex, i.e male or female, man or woman, as biologically, socially and legally defined. These definitions are hardly ambiguous. In doctrines of feminity, parenthood and personal dignity, considerations of individual preference and social functionality begin to cross-up the common place stereotyping on which our elaboration of the way that sex was expressed in society in terms of behaviour, masculine or sociological theories of normality and development.
Finally, following through the conceptual history of sex and gender leads one to conclude that we simply do not know how many genders there are. This is because, in practice, the answer varies according to what is assumed about sex and sexuality before any particular concept of gender is then deployed. These various concepts of gender do not fit together in a coherent way, and so current usage allows and indeed encourages people to talk past each other (Oluyemi-kusa, 2007). In all, we shall assume that there are two major genders in existence. They are; the male and female. Girl-Child, Sex-education and Gender Issues The onus of boys and girls has been going hand-in-hand right from the earliest times in African society. This trend has assisted us to determine their perspective as regards the relationship between the sexes. But in times of quality education amongst both sexes in most of our typical African societies, the case has not been the same. That is,
in terms of education, there is high level of gender discrimination and segregation amongst them. There exists plethora of evidence both in history and the oral tradition of the Yoruba clan that though girls were never seen as equals of boys, they were never treated or regarded as a rib or appendage or an afterthought to boys (Sertima, 1989). Following this, Sofola (1996) opines that within the African aesthetic continuum, there is peace when all parts of the society (including girls) operate in a harmonious and complimentary manner. Even the ancient Yoruba sages concur to the sentiment which states that neither the boy nor the girl was a perfect being. According to the survey conducted on womenâ€™s education in Nigeria by the Association of University Womenâ€™s Ibadan branch published in 1882, it was reported that: â€œAlthough the universal free primary education of the 70s tended to improve the enrollment of girls, the school system, yet preferences is still shown to boys where school expenditure is too much for the family.
Just as we have established in the in first paragraph, in terms of education, more preference is usually given to the male gender in the families at the detriment of the female gender. This trend is consequent upon the erroneous cultural and traditional believe most parents have that the occupation of the girl-child culminates in the kitchen and this at the end, subjects her to the level of becoming a complete and hapless housewife. In most instances where girl-children are given equal educational opportunities with their boy counterpart, they subject such lucrative opportunities into judicious use by distinguishing themselves in their areas of discipline or specialization. Sequel to their [girl-childâ€™s] poor educational background, they predominate amongst the people living in a state of penury or abject poverty in the contemporary society and vast majority of them have their personages or abodes being located in the remote areas. While their counterparts are usually catered for and trained in urban schools and made to settle in the urban areas with the family income.
Their annual income is ebbs away and means of girlhood dwindles so sharply to the extent that they fall below poverty lines. In most scenarios the female gender in the family or African societies are withdrawn from school when the family is being faced with financial crisis and the male gender is allowed to continue his academic pursuit usually at the detriment of the female gender. The female gender is made to hawk, engage in petty trading, farming or fishing activities mostly in the rural areas carry out market chores with the proceeds being invested in the education of her male counterpart. She is being sold or given out to strange couples who usually promise to cater for their day-to-day needs including their educational needs to do the job of either a nanny or a house help. While the boys are usually sent out into the cities acquire skills or learn how to trade in reputable business organizations or in commercial urban areas.
The rural girl-children who are not catered for in terms of education by either their family members or the immediate society are getting poorer and further marginalized discriminated and segregated both in access to quality education, development resources and in the utilization of available resources in the families and in the immediate society invoice the cohabit with their male counterparts. It may also interest you to note the vehement beehive of the male chauvinists that women are affected by poverty. This discouraging and debilitating trade is consequent upon their wishy-washy educational background and the activities and attitude of the society towards their educational pursuit and career development or acquisition. According to the United Nation Development Programme report, it was revealed that: â€œMajority of African women still work for between 14-18 hours per day and produce between 50-80 Parents of sub-Sahara Africans food, fetch water; gather fire wood, care for the family in Nigeriaâ€?. This daunting task which in most cases falls on the
shoulders of the African as was revealed by UNDP report reduces the women to workaholics in disguise and this is opposed to their male counterparts. In the remote areas of the society the poverty and illiteracy rate is usually high and Ijere (1991) posits that, women form over half of that population and estimates that, 80% of the rural work force is provided by women. On a later develo9ment, UNDP also revealed claim that one third of all African households are headed by women. Also, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the issues of gender gaps education amongst women varies greatly across countries in these regions, but they are generally more wide spread in countries where overall literacy and school enrollment are lower. The case of Yemen is a perfect example. In Yemen, the illiteracy rate amongst young women is 54% and this percentage is triple when compared to that of men which rates 17%. But countries like Jordan and
Tunisia that made both political and financial commitments to reducing illiteracy (and if possible, eradicating it in its entirety) have witnessed significant and tremendous improvements in reducing illiteracy and narrowing the gender gaps. In a society that strives to narrow gender gaps, literacy is bound to rein especially in part the women. Therefore, this trend goes further to buttress the point that there is in existence a symbiotic co-existence between gender gaps and literacy. And thus, where there is a symbiotic co-existence between gender gaps and literacy, school enrollment either secondary or tertiary regardless of rural or urban location becomes momentous, realizable and sacrosanct. It may however interest you to note that gender gaps in school enrollment are wide especially in countries like, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Yemen. Thus, closing gender gaps in education will most definitely be of utmost benefit to a countryâ€™s economies. To highlight the possible effects of
gender gaps in education, a study estimated that the region’s average annual growth in per capita gross national product would have been nearly a full percentage point higher between 1960 and 1992 if MENA’s gender gaps in education had shrink as East Asia did. Gender sensitivity is a key aspect of the quality of education. Therefore the educational system as a while should be sensitive to the specific needs yeaning and aspirations of the female gender instead of that of the male gender alone. Amidst this, the curricular and teaching materials and the media, which has a powerful and predominant onus in melding the viewer’s knowledge and opinions in the enclave of MENA, often reinforce traditional roles that may deny women opportunities for full and equal participation in society. To encapsulate, at this period that we all agitate for national development and also strive assiduously to meet the millennium development goals, we should declare education for all because education brings benefits to the
educated in the forms of access to cogent information and more economic and political influence. Education can revamp and improve the intellectual dexterity and opulence of women, make them gain more access to needed powers and authorities home. It can also make them gain greater control over resources as a prelude into having a stronger voice in family decisions because their contribution cannot be discountenanced in household and national economics. In all education to the male gender at the detriment of the female gender reduce the upward mobility of women. Hence, there should be a balanced system between the male gender and female gender. How to develop Girl-Children for optimal performance in National Development 1. Basing that primate policy interceptions are arrived at thereby bringing the girl-childâ€™s social states and economic opportunities to equal with those of boys.
2. All plans arrived at attaining the objectives of women development progress should be designed prudently and executed faithfully. 3. The females themselves have to realize the necessity of imputing concerted effort in order to be heard, seen and felt in all ventures, including politics because, they themselves are the best advocates for women emancipation. 4. The government and all relevant stakeholders should remove and identify all appearance of discrimination segregation and nepotism based on sex. 5. The government of the day should shift emphasis in regional development efforts to the provision of infrastructures and location of production ventures in the communities where marginalization abounds. 6. Cottage economics activities that are socially acceptable and economically viable should be
identified and concerted efforts should be made to integrate such activities into the purdah system to carry the women in purdah along with development process. 7. There should be a substantive special child care security/allowance. This is as a result of the fact that, a child that is brought up with good moral principles, and values, does not end up becoming an asset to the immediate family alone but also to the society in which she is an integral component.
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