With the high number of cases in our society today of early teenage pregnancies among young adolescents one may ask what is the problem with our society. Truth be told, young people are sexually active and the people in society who should give them direction on how to make informed choices shy away from the ‘weighty’ matter of sexuality talk. It this one topic that would make children drop in grades in school as they undergo puberty but still no one dares to boldly discuss it with their children. Our clergy are not letting into light the possibility of even discussing the sexual debut of adolescents as a topic or even simpler is when to introduce sexuality education to our children.
Lack of comprehensive sexuality education is one of the underlying factors on why the rate of teenage pregnancies will go up, why young people will drop out of school especially girls, why some would commit suicide, why others would be infected with STIs and HIV and I would go on to list many other challenges that face young people as they grow up. In Kenya alone, 66% of the population (National Census 2009) are below 25 years of age. The studies further reveal that 23% of adolescents’ age 10-14 years have had their first sexual encounters and used a condom. The reverse is true of those who engage in early sexual practices and never use a condom. This shows the risks that face young people as they grow up but still the men of the cloth are holding a strong position that no condoms should be given to children. They further criticize family planning methods despite reported cases of a young girl who was 20 years old with 6 children. The question I would ask is are they sincere? Do they really want to win the fight against HIV/Aids? Are these not members of the society -young people- that is part of their faithful congregation? Who has failed in their mandate to impact morals? Reality is, young people are sexually active whether we accept it or not.
Let us embrace a different dimension and move in to look at the health of this young people, let us influence them to make good decisions such as determining the size of their families in future. Let them know when to have or not have children. Let them have a place to go to and refer their peers on where to get comprehensive services when their reproductive health is challenged. What do you think?