Nigeria: How Moral, Sex Education Can Enhance Teenagers' Life-Worth
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Adolescence and Growth: Sex and Moral Education for Teenagers (Artifield Limited, Lagos; 2015) written by Jonjude Okere focuses on sex and moral education for teenagers.
The book explains the role sexuality plays in enriching lives through positive relationships. This book provides insight on values that can help teenagers in decision-making and how to understand and become aware of the consequences of ignorance in sexual and marital issues. The book also offers information on the advantages of sexual abstinence, exposing sex abuse and how to guard against it.
Okere highlights the values and virtues expected of teenagers and the importance of giving guidelines on positive role models. The book is essential reading for the youth because sex is inseparable from life, and a perfect primer for educating young people, and from where they can draw knowledge, guidance and the strength to steer life courageously.
Adolescence and Growth... is key to understanding sex. Moreover, it exposes them to the intrigues surrounding physical attraction and the sexuality of the individual based on the positive principles highlighted in the book.
Also highlighted is the basic knowledge on how to transform sexual energy into productivity. In section one, Okere describes the growth of the child to adolescence, puberty and the pains of menstruation, especially the girl-child.Germaine to sexual education is the adolescent growth and development, the rapid gains in height and weight and secondary sexual characteristics.
He says early maturation affects boys and girls differently. Research has found that early maturing boys tend to be more popular with their peers. They are able to hold leadership positions.
But adults assume that early maturing boys are cognitively mature as well. Such assumptions can lead to false expectations about a young person's ability to take on increased responsibility.
For early maturing girls are more likely to experience pressure for involvement in dating because of their big physical appearance. Unfortunately, such girls are just big but are not emotionally ready for the rigours of dating.
Thus early maturing girls often suffer more from depression, eating disorders and anxiety. In line with pressure or manipulation by adult associates, teenagers then get more involved in explorations to figure out their sexual values, which often make them mistake sex for intimacy.
Unfortunately, they are not emotionally mature and ready to take up the responsibilities that escalate from dating. Which is why every parent should educate their wards to be aware of their sexuality and sex education to avoid teenage pregnancy.
Other changes associated with adolescence, according to the author, include developing reasoning skills with the ability to think in multiple options and possibilities.
Other ways of development comprise development of abstract thinking skills - meaning thinking about things that cannot be seen, heard or touched such as thinking about faith, trust, belief systems and spirituality.
It is in late adolescence that teens develop how to establish intimacy. Most people do not understand the meaning of intimacy and its functions.
Some equate intimacy with sex. In fact, intimacy and sex are different. Intimacy is learned within the context of same sex friendship. But intimacy refers to close relationship in which people are open, honest, caring and trusting.
For the female gender, most girls begin to menstruate between 11 and 13 years of age. They continue until they reach menopause about 40 years later.
Section is concerned with highly scientific matters such as sexology, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sexual abstinence.
Sexology is the scientific study of human sexual behaviour. In this area Okere explains inter personal attraction, dating and courtship. There are other relationships such as friendship preceding courtship.
Coitus or sex leads to pregnancy and eventually abortion among teenagers, leaving many with infections, barrenness and death. Through coitus, many teenagers are infected with several sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and AIDS.
Though sex is a beautiful emotion it is sacred and should be experienced only among married adults. The consequences of promiscuity are abortion, sickness and abandonment.
Abortion and unwanted pregnancy can only be prevented when teenagers abstain from coitus although the use of condom as prevention of pregnancy and disease is permissible. However abstinence remains the best form of prevention against all sexually transmitted diseases and related problems. Section three deals with the influence of the environment on the growth of the teenager.
Unfortunately, a teenager might find his chances in life dimmed by being a product of an unhappy home, unwanted pregnancy, poverty and prostitution.
Finally, moral education has been used as a catalyst to correct the evils of indiscipline in sexual matters. Largly drawing from his personal experiences, Okere has used his background to write an exemplary book.