Let us talk cancer- cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus that is usually transmitted sexually, the risk factors for cervical cancer are; multiple sexual partners, high risk sexual partners( a promiscuous partner), early onset of sexual intercourse, history of sexually transmitted diseases( STDs), immune suppression (mostly AIDS),high number of deliveries, and others( low social economic status, cigarette smoking, etc). Cervical cancer is related to ones’ sexual behavior; that is why you need to have that sexual chat with your young ones. Yes we are going to make sure that they get the gardasil or cervarix (cervical cancer vaccines), we are going to remind them to do their pap smears, but again we are going to teach them about sex.
We are not going to tell our children that sex is tabia mbaya (sex outside marriage is not good manners though), that is sex bad, that those who have sex will burn in hell fire. We will tell them that sex is a gift from God to two people who love each other. It is a gift that should be shared among people who are married. We will teach them of the need to abstain, but we will also tell them that at the other side of abstinence, sex happens, if it ever happens outside marriage, remind them that it shouldn’t be unplanned, it should never just happen, it should be responsible sex, with a partner who is faithful to them, and they should use condoms by all means.
Majority of parents avoid discussing sex matters with their daughters, they live hoping that their daughters and sons are abstaining. Then the daughters grow up adolescence comes and the hormones happen, the breasts push on the clothes, the hips become rounder and curvier and the neighbor’s son notices, then he touches the breast and arouses a desire that can only be quenched by sex, before the girl knows it, it has happened. She has had sex without protection, and pregnancy is inevitable. At the age of thirteen, a child is forced to have a child (Nerea-usitoe mimba yangu), and the road to misery for that young woman begins.
There are very few adolescents who know whatever they need to know about sex, very few, majority are left to find out on their own. They always find out from their peers, media, and of course trial. This is the reason why they make so many mistakes because they learn through experience.
Most parents even at this age cannot talk to their children about sex. Well it is hard, and I know most are asking in what language can we have this sex chat with our children? Talking about sex involves words that are considered extremely vulgar especially when said in our mother tongues or in Swahili but then we have no option. We must tell these things to our children no matter how uncomfortable they make us. This is the only way we are going to be safe.
Teenagers should be encouraged to be free with their parents. Encourage them to introduce you to their boyfriends. Let them know that there is nothing wrong about feeling like they love someone of the opposite sex. Help them with their boyfriend issues. Life is not just about books and good grades; life is about sex, love and hate too. If you are a mother, you have been a teenager before; you have passed through all these stages. There are things that you wanted to be told, thing that you were never told, be different, be the mother who tells their daughters what they need to know, never what you think is right for them to know.
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