Achieving Comprehensive Sexuality Education among Young People Amidst COVID-19 (Part 2)

In the first part of this discussion, we jointly agreed that Covid-19 would not completely halt sexual activities among us especially young people.
We agreed that there could be complications in that lockdown may limit people’s access to sexuality education and commodities that could help them live and enjoy a healthy sexual life.

We concluded by noting that we must bring up a creative and novel way of giving comprehensive sexuality education to our young people in order to enhance their capacities to deal with issues that they will face in life.

Today, let us focus more on addressing the problems. We will harvest more questions today but we start with some questions that came up last week.

These preventive measures are there, but the reality is that most young people falter.
1. Abstinence: What skills are required?
2. Mutual Fidelity: what skills
3. Correct and consistent Condom use: how do ladies in particular negotiate for it?

We need to share experiences and best practices that work with our societal context
To young people, we always “Preach” Abstinence. This the safest, cost effective and most acceptable means of living a healthy sexual life.

However, it may be difficult for young people to achieve abstinence especially when they are in love. Critical skills are therefore required to achieve this.

First, there must be adequate knowledge on what is abstinence and the benefits, when this is done, the individual young person must decide either he/she is ready to give it all it requires to practice abstinence. Most young people miss it in the middle of the game because they really don’t count the cost before embarking on sexual behavior.

So, decision making skill is very important. Most young people only make decision about their academics, career paths but not sexual health. When decision making is achieved, there must be effective communication. Most young people have a lot of information to pass to their friends but no effective communication skills to pass across the information.

If you’re close to an individuals and there is already romantic attraction to each other, communication should start immediately. All types of communication including verbal and non verbal communication must be deployed. Unfortunately, most young people say one thing but they act this other. Such communication inconsistencies results in negative consequences.
Of course, when you make decisions, you effectively communicated it to your partner, then you must be soo assertive to defend your decision. Which means, assertiveness skill is required. It is simply a way of defending your interest without infringing on your partners interest.

My question to you all, why is it difficult for young people who have these knowledge to still practice abstinence?
Correct! Is it then right to have romantic relationship when one plans to practice abstinence?
I am one of the advocates of staying away from romantic relationship if you really want to practice abstinence without falling in the middle of the game.

Good, rape is another kettle of fish in sexuality education. Let is therefore focus on those who give in voluntarily.
The young men of this current generation are mostly looking for relationships to satisfy their sexual fantasies.

Mutual fidelity was also raised. Sexual fidelity refers to when sexual partners only engage in sexual activities within their relationship.

Mutual fidelity is when two people in relationship agree to stay faithful to each other. Some call it being faithful. It is found to be good in preventing infection especially when the two of them know their health status. Due to mutual fidelity, two young people in relationship may be having sex without Condom which may result in unplanned pregnancy.

Those who want to practice that must not only have skills but must be very knowledgeable. They must know about traditional family planning methods including periodic abstinence during ovulation.

But why should two unmarried people be having sex without Condom. It may not be religiously right but since we’re not in church, sexual life and practice is the right of everyone. Both parties must be ready to practice mutual fidelity and bear the consequences if error occurs.

Question 1: Is it right for two unmarried lovers especially young people to go for modern family planning such as injectable when they are not married just to stay safe in practicing mutual fidelity?

It is right. Even with mutual fidelity, there are still the risks of unplanned pregnancies. It is better to practice safer sex even in such conditions. These are the knowledge and skills required for young people to practice a healthy sexual life.

It is therefore a serious delusion for someone to be having unprotected sexual intercourse without planning for pregnancy prevention even if STIs are ruled out.

Question 2: How do ladies negotiate for correct and consistent use of Condoms?

Unfortunately, this is where the power relations play out in sexual relationship. Most times, the patriarchal power dominance allows men to have the upper hand in condom use decision. This is not right.
This has been a long battle which culminated in the introduction of female condom.

Unfortunate, most ladies are still unable to refuse sex from their sexual partners due to various reasons. Firstly, men who have financial powers seem to control the sexual life of their female partners.

Secondly, some women also do not enjoy sex with condoms as they claim, which make them place less importance on consistent and correct use of Condoms.

The Psychological components of buying condom is also a problem. Most women do not have the boldness to go across the counter to purchase condom which is a challenge on its own.
There is therefore the need to make sexual and reproductive health more youth friendly. We must promote community education and services for young people.

The society should also stop the Stigmatization of young people base on their sexual life and practice. We must do more in teaching them the life skills as early as possible not after the damage is done.

Question 3: What Important roles do we have to play?

  • We must prioritize evidence-based education programs for young people, adults and priority populations as we’re doing on Knowing Series.
  • Peer Education Programs is also key as young people find it easy to learn from one another.
  • We must promote sexuality education programs and other community-driven, culturally relevant health education programs.
  • We must adopt Parent/Family Education Programs to reorientate our parents

Question 4: During the period of this lockdown, a lot of young people have been abused (raped), what should young people know to avoid being in vulnerable situations?

The issue of rape in our society is sad. We can’t blame the sufferer for this but the wicked generation of untrained men

  1. Ladies should not trust anyone including uncles, pastors, friends, enemies etc. All men without the fear of God could rape.
  2. People should know and get familiar with their environment. If you have predators around, avoid such environments completely
  3. Women should have some self defense skills. May be we need to add that to the surviving skills for lady. Recall a lady was set free last week after stabbing a man who wanted to rape her to death. God bless the judge.
  4. I also support decent dressing by ladies. It’s good for their image but indecent dressing should not be the reason for them to be raped.
  5. Ladies should let go of abusive relationship as early as possible even if it is verbal or emotional abuses. This will dovetail to rape and other sexual and physical abuses.
  6. Above all, young ladies who are exposed to rape or other sexual abuses should seek medical help for necessary health interventions especially post exposure prophylaxis

If not for civility, I will openly support jungle justice for rapist. That is what they deserve.

Question 5: What is post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)?

They are medical treatment that is given to those who are already exposed to sexual activities that could expose them to infection. The treatment must be taken within 72 hours and STIs especially HIV can be prevented.

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