As a Ghanaian, I know that sex is somewhat a taboo topic. I mean, whose parent gave them an extensive sex talk? All we were told was “Don’t have sex or else you will get pregnant, and if you dare get pregnant, then don’t step into this house”. If you are a male, then you probably got the “Don’t go and get any girl pregnant, otherwise you will marry her!” talk. In our schools, some sort of sex education was given, but it focused mainly on girls not getting pregnant. I had forgotten all about these conversations until I was watching YOLO (who doesn’t love that show?? Drogba ooh Drogba!) and saw a commercial about teen pregnancy. Now, I am sure that the ad developers meant well with their message, but it was so one-sided that it made me mad as a female. The ad basically talked about how a girl got pregnant and was unable to fulfill her dream of being a doctor. It shifted the blame of the pregnancy from both teens to the girl. As if she went and had sex with herself!
Now that I have sufficiently ranted, let me point out in my opinion three main flaws about the sex talk in our schools and home:
Pregnancy prevention isn’t only up to a girl! If you want to have sex but don’t want a baby, then both parties have to take preventive measures. The man can use a condom (it is his responsibility to buy one) and/ or the girl can be on some sort of contraceptive. Both parties need to discuss it! Don’t just leave it up to the girl to prevent pregnancy! After all, she is not the one with the sperms, is she?
Pregnancy should not be the end of a girl’s life. We have all heard stories of how young girls had to drop out of school because they got pregnant, or how they were banned from writing crucial exams due to pregnancy. Like, this is the 21st century! You can have a baby and still live a life. Simply because someone had a baby early does not mean her life is useless.
Someone needs to be talking about rape. Our sex educationist (if we can even call them that) fail to mention the importance of consent in sex, or that rape is never the victim’s fault. When we don’t talk about rape and consent, we don’t give young people the knowledge to decipher between sex and rape or sexual assault.
As times are changing in Ghana, I only hope that the sex talk will also change with it.