- But on a more serious note, the guidelines, from what has been heard discussed and read, is to guide teachers in the sex education of children, from the ages of six to nine, that is from class one and thereafter.
Written By Caroline Boateng - The furore over the Comprehensive Sexuality Education guidelines reminded me of the song by Salt N Pepa (1991): "Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that make me. Let's talk about sex!"
Those were the times, when at records night, entertainment prefects ensured that students had the utmost experience with the beats of the songs of the era.
But on a more serious note, the guidelines, from what has been heard discussed and read, is to guide teachers in the sex education of children, from the ages of six to nine, that is from class one and thereafter.
Proponents of the guidelines say that in our technologically enabled world, children already know a lot about sex.
They argue that children must be taught about the sexual organs in order that they would appreciate them and be able to ward off any child predator who may target them.
They emphasise that teenage pregnancy rates are rising.
Those against it say it is a subtle way of introducing into our culture lesbianism and homosexuality.
A way of rationalising their practice and clothing it with rights to make them acceptable.
They say supporters are beginning with children, and that the effort is not benign but orchestrated.
Arguments in support of the introduction of the guidelines do not convince me.
If Ghanaian children are already at the edge of the cliff, should we then push them over?
Most times, supporters of such initiatives such as development partners and duty bearers, find the easiest solutions to societal challenges because they do not want to spend time thinking through for the best solutions.
If the challenge is to redress faulty sexual views children pick up from the Internet, are guidelines to teachers on how to teach children about the genitalia and their responsiveness the antidote?
I would have taught that as a first step, the faulty materials freely available to children would be targeted by a restricted policy on those sites for children.
Our agencies, the Ministry of Communications should, for instance, device protocols through their agencies that make it totally impossible for those sites to be available to children.
Then also, after accessing the materials on sexuality which are freely available to children, can our duty bearers go into a retreat and think through counter materials against every falsehood churned out by these sites which are available to children?
Brochures on these facts could then be made easily accessible to children.
Perhaps, a better policy, as we had in the past, would be to enforce tutoring on menstrual hygiene and the consequences of indulging in sex at an early age.
These days, most three to 12 year olds are quite assertive.
A three-year-old I know does not take 'no' for an answer, and endeavours to get to the bottom of anything that is barred to her.
Imagine she at six, a bit more entrenched in her ways and being taught about feelings of the sexual organs!
It may not end there, but gravitate to something more experiential! I shudder to think about that.
For those against the guidelines, perhaps the campaign should not only focus on preventing homosexual and lesbian tendencies in our midst. It should extend to all the distasteful and indecent adverts on sexuality on our airwaves at any and all times of the day.
That is also a challenge that must be fought so that advertisers only air them at acceptable times of the day, at night, when children are asleep. While at that, they should also target education on responsible parenting that ensures that children are not left walking about at anytime, sometimes without the knowledge of parents.
Perhaps, the whole sexuality education thing should be re-thought critically. What must we be teaching our children about sex in their teens?
It is good that the Comprehensive Sexuality Education document is generating a lot of discussion. At least in talking, we all may come to some consensus on sex education.
But for now, I stand with those against the guidelines and the push for sexuality to be exposed to children and teens.
They are not ready for that and our adults and duty bearers must think critically before they open a Pandora's box that would get things out of hand!
Writer’s E-mail: email@example.com