Men need sex education more than ever

It is time to start teaching young men sex education. PHOTO|FOTOSEARCH

What you need to know:

What you need to know:

  • Fear and stigma and misinformation surrounding sex, is the reason why young men go out into the world with no real knowledge about sex
  • You see it a lot in online conversations
  • We have men who believe that all women have their periods at the end of the month like a group salary

Two weeks back I was invited to a discussion on family planning. I was unsure about what to expect and I honestly needed it to be exciting because Saturday mornings are for sleep and this needed to be worth more than the sweet slumber.

Thankfully, it wasn't a death by PowerPoint crusade, crammed with enough text to found a religion somewhere. I happened to be the only man in the gathering by the virtue that I initiate discussions on sexuality online and I talk about men's views on the subject. It so happens that men are needed to be part of the contraceptive discussion as men and boys are a big part of the solution especially when it comes to unplanned births and teenage pregnancies.

There are so many myths surrounding family planning and contraceptives that some of the stories shared were not only hilarious but bordered on the absurd. I too have my misinformation about the topic, some fed to me when I was a young boy.

I remembered being told that if I had sex before I was married that I would end up being intimate with demons in my dreams. I remembered being petrified at the thought. In standard six, our teachers decided that it was in our best interest to watch a scare STD video. It was one of those horror shows that displayed diseased sexual organs that made us swear off looking at girls or even thinking about them. When I was 13 we signed a purity pledge promising not to engage in any hanky-panky until I was married and if I broke the pledge I would be cursed. How did anyone think that making a 13-year-old sign a pledge about something they barely understood was a good thing? Sigh.

Some people in the group were taught that shaking hands could get you pregnant. Others were taught that whichever deity that they worshipped would be there in the room watching them. That gave me that spiritual voyeur vibe, but what do I know? People shared stories of how their parents told them that sex would lead to STI's and immediate death. One person even believed, as a teenager, that they would get a seizure if they engaged, and another that dreaming about the act would cause pregnancy.

These weird stories made me realise that the fear and stigma and misinformation surrounding sex, is the reason why young men go out into the world with no real knowledge about sex. You see it a lot in online conversations. We have men who believe that all women have their periods at the end of the month like a group salary. We have men who still don't know that women don't pee from their vaginas. We have men who believe that having sex during the daytime or if she showers right after then she will not get pregnant. I ran into a Boda Boda guy who believed that his wife getting on contraception would somehow affect his sexual performance and libido, though he didn't quite know-how. We have men who believe that women's vaginas stretch after sex and that their penises elongate the more they get into the exercise.

Educational and informative conversations about sex, contraceptives, and anything in between is seen as a woman's role, according to a recent report by #formnigani, who work on contraception and contraception. The report, Kenyan Voices: COVID-19 and Contraception, also talked about the fact that whenever young people engage in these conversations, they're labeled as promiscuous based on the puritanical way contraceptives and sex are discussed as "adults' things" designed for "marriages."

I'm here today to advocate for comprehensive age-appropriate sex education for young men and if we're being totally honest, older men, too. It's embarrassing to see and hear some things in 2021. Let's start with busting the myth that sex education will make children start to engage in sex.

Sex education is not a video pointer on the process of engaging in the act, the different styles, or how to have more of it. It starts by teaching them the basics about their bodies and about women's bodies and grows to more useful knowledge.

This is a timely conversation to discuss how to empower the boy child. Giving them practical information on sex will get our younger men into better situations instead of having teenage fathers and mothers. The repercussions of early parenthood completely change their lives, yet this is something that would have been prevented with a little more information.

On a lighter note, it will definitely stop 'wababa wa Nairobi' from being sent for pads and coming back with diapers. Small small things like those.


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