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THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY PARENT

Sex Education: The Parent’s Role

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How did you learn about sex?

If not from either parent, do you think learning about sex from your parent would have made the journey easier?

Many parents, because they were not spoken to about sex by their parents, find it difficult engaging the children on matters as this. I remember the first day I asked my nine and seven-year-olds what sex was. That day I laughed so hard because I turned around to see my nine-year-old raise the duvet to cover her face until I asked that she uncovered her face. Then she asked, “Mummy, which do you want to know? Is it gender or the other one?” Looking at my firm face, she goes “Ok, sex means male or female” Oh! You don’t want to imagine how hard I laughed!!! That was some good mischief. She finally answered the question properly when she was done beating around the duvet.

Over the years, it’s been a difficult trend having parents talk to their children on sex-related matters and much more difficult having fathers discuss this area with their daughters. Maybe due to the age-old tradition of “mother takes care of the home”.

Today, things are changing, while the difference in biological roles cannot be traded, there is a sync in social, economic, and even domestic roles of father and mother. Research has also not been left out in this transformation. It turns out now that fathers and daughters are talking about sex more than ever. The National polling conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that the majority of young women seek the advice of their fathers over that of their mothers about romantic relationships and sex. This may not be the case for us here in Nigeria due to Customs!

So which should we go with? Culture or Scientific studies?

According to research, fathers tend to use more analytical language when speaking with their daughters than when talking to their sons. This isn’t any different on the part of the mother who uses more emotive language when speaking with her daughter than when speaking with her son. It then means that there is a difference in the way the father speaks to both daughter and son. Which also applies to the mother’s communication pattern with her son and daughter.

Latest findings also add that fathers’ brain may process interactions with their daughters differently than those with their sons. This isn’t different on the part of the mothers.

On the other hand, culture says the father is the one who dictates events as they relate to the family. The mother only receives the instruction and ensures it’s carried out in the home. The father provides and the mother nurtures. So we have in this part of the world, fathers who are seen as people to be feared such that when daddy’s car horn is heard, the TV is turned off and everyone retires to his or her room. Often times, even mum, but in her case, the kitchen! The father has little or nothing to do with nurture.

What do you think?

Hear me out! According to science, the nurture roles of both father and mother are important in raising children. From the preceding paragraphs, one can say that in discussing Sex, when the analytical method of communication a father employs while discussing with his daughters is mixed with the emotive method of communication from the mother, there is a balance and the message is better passed!

In other words, it is better to have both parents engage in educating the children on Sex!!!

Remember, every family is unique!!!

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Daisy

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