Methods of Imparting Sex Education in Traditional African Society 

Methods of Imparting Sex Education in Traditional African Society 

  • It was imparted through punishing the sex offenders e.g killing of the fornicators among the Bakiga and the Karamajongs
  • It was imparted through Age mates who taught their fellow peers about sex.
  • It was passed on through African poems which revealed a lot of secrets regarding sex.
  • Through African dances like Mbaga dances in Buganda, circumcision dance among the Bagishu,Mpango dance among the Batoro etc.
  • The Aunties also taught the girls much about sex during the puberty stage e.g. the Sengas in Buganda.
  • Through initiation rituals likecircumcision, pulling of the Labias etc sex education was also imparted into the young people.
  • The uncles especially in Buganda also gave the boys a lot of information about sex.
  • Sex education was also passed on through elder brothers and sisters to their young siblings.
  • It was imparted through telling stories to the young from the grandparents usually in the evening around the fire places.
  • It was also taught through cultural taboos. E.g. the Kiganda taboos that discouraged sleeping of mature brothers and sister together.
  • Through giving different kinds of work to girls and boys e.g. in Buganda, boys were to hunt while girls were to cook.
  • Through composing and singing of songs to the young that contained information about sex.
  • Through rewarding those who kept their virginity until marriage.
  • Sex education was passed on through bush schools e.g. in Buganda girls were taken to the bush where they were told to pull their Labias.
  • It was imparted through living exemplary lives sexually e.g. mothers being faithful to their husbands.1. In what ways was sex education imparted among traditional Africans.(13 marks) Approach:

The question wants the various methods used by the traditional Africans to teach the young people about sex.

Why Sex Education Is Collapsing Today
  • The Elders and the parents are too busy with their work hence have no time to impart sex education.
  • The big gap between the youth and the elders has hindered free discussion about sex.
  • Peer group influence has made youths to only listen to their own experiences and disregard the advice of the elders.
  • Lack of appropriate Literature about sex education is another challenge faced in imparting sex education
  • Sex education is commercialized today and this has made many poor people to miss out these wonderful Lectures.
  • Influence of formal education which has made many educated people to look at sex education as something out dated and primitive.
  • Emergence of nuclear families which have eroded extended families and their roles.
  • There is high rate of permissiveness where youths have a lot of freedom to do whatever they want and refuse sex education.
  • Some parents are too shy to impart sex education into their children.
  • The influence of western culture which has eroded traditional cultures hence distorting the practice of sex education.
  • The presence of mass media that are pornographic is another problem faced in trying to impart sex education today.
  • Most parents think that teachers will impart sex education to their children at school and so, both sides end up missing out.
  • Some parents look at sex education with suspicion i.e. they think that it will instead ignite sex urge among the youths.
  • Family instabilities/disintegration in form of divorce and separation has also hindered the practice of sex education today.
  • Political instability/unrest has made parents unsettled hence being unable to impart sex education.
  • There is selfishness of some family members like step mothers who out of Jealous refuse to pass on sex education to their step daughters.
  • Influence of boarding schools where most children stay have also limited the time parents have to teach their children about sex.
  • Most parents today were not taught about sex in their youthful stage and so, they lack the real information to teach their children.
  • Poverty has also made it hard to uncles and Aunties today to keep boys and girls in their homes teaching them about sex.
  • The decline in African traditional beliefs has also made sex education useless as modern people consider it to be for long ago.
  • The high cost of living today has made it impossible for the aunts and uncles to fear teaching their girls and boys at their home.
  • The influence of religions like Christianity that do not emphasize culture has made it hard for sex education to go on today.
  • The rapid growth of urbanization has also limited the practice of sex education. This because there are no secret places (bush) in towns where girls can be taken to teach them secrets.

1. Discuss the challenges your society is facing while trying to impart sex education. (12 marks) Approach:

It wants reasons why sex education is rarely being carried out to the young people today.

How Is Sex Education Imparted Today
  • Sex education is imparted through news papers, Novels and magazines like straight talk, Red peppers, Bukedde,Newspaper,Kamunye etc.
  • It’s imparted by teachers in schools during their Lessons especially C.R.E and Biology teachers, Senior Woman and senior man etc.
  • Drama plays like Emboozizabagalana by alina talents,Obufumbo bwabato etc is another way of imparting sex education into the young.
  • It’s also imparted through television programmes like soaps, movies, films, “Akasale” on bukeddeTv etc.
  • Through medical professionals like doctors and Nurses who teach their patients a lot about sex and family planning.
  • It is taught through religious leaders like reverends, priests and pastors who teach those about to be wedded a lot about sex.
  • Cultural organizations like “Kisakate of the Queen of Buganda is another way of imparting sex education today.
  • It is taught by counselors to those who have challenges in marriage.
  • Some courageous parents today still teach their children about sex.
  • It is taught through fellow peers/friends e.g. most girls today get to know about pulling of the Labias from their Friends.
  • It is imparted through cultural ceremonies like circumcision among the Bagishu.
  • Through social media on the internet. eg face book, twitter, whatsup,Skype etc.
  • It is imparted through government initiatives and programs like piassy.
  • Some uncles and Aunties also teach their children about sex.
  • Sex education is imparted through songs; both local and international contain a lot of information about sex.
Reasons Why Parents Are Against the Use of Mass Media to Impart Sex Education
  • Mass media involves use of radios, Televisions and Newspapers to impart sex education, so the question wants reasons why parents today don’t want sex education through the media to their children.
  • Answers.
  • Mass media involves a lot of permissiveness.ie it gives the youths a lot of freedom to do whatever they want.
  • Mass media especially televisions show pornographic pictures which instead spoil the youths sexually.
  • Some radio presenters and sex educators over the media speak sexual words directly to the public which also spoil the morals of the youths.
  • Sex education is supposed to be private and secret affairs but mass media makes it a public affair.
  • Mass media cannot be accessed by all youths in the country.ie not all youths can get Newspapers or afford radios and televisions.
  • Traditionally, sex education was supposed to be imparted by the biological uncles and Aunties to the children but those of mass media are not.
  • Mass media is aimed at making money but not improving the morals of the youths in the society.
  • Traditionally, fathers were not supposed to be around when teaching their daughters about sex but mass media does not consider this.
  • Mass media aims at arousing and inspiring the youths into sexual abuses instead of making them to have self-control sexually.
  • Mass media teaches both boys and girls together yet traditionally, boys are supposed to be separated from girls during sex education.
  • Using mass media to teach about sex originated from Europe and that is why most African parents today are against it.

1. Why are most parents today against the use of mass media as a method of sex education? (10 marks)

African Marriage System (African Understanding of Marriage)
  • Before marriage, the couple was supposed to go through initiation ceremonies e.g. among the Bagishu and the kikuyu, the boys had to be circumcised before marriage.
  • Marriage was for the production of children. The children produced sealed the marriage, acted as a link between the living, the dead and the future generation.
  • Africans believed that from the very beginning of human life, god commanded people to get married and bear children; therefore marriage was seen as a gift from God.
  • Marriage was seen as a sacred (holy) duty, which every normal person was of age was supposed to perform i.e. it was compulsory.
  • In all societies, everything possible was done to prepare the young people for marriage and make them love the marriage institution.
  • Women were considered inferior to their husbands and were expected to be submissive to their husbands.
  • Having sex was only allowed in marriage and the married people were free to enjoy sex any time they wanted.
  • Marriage was compulsory for every adult and those who did not were disrespected i.e. they were seen as children and were denied leadership roles.
  • The unmarried were not even given descent burial e.g. in Buganda their dead bodies were passed through the back door and their names were not given to the new born babies.
  • Divorce was not allowed in African traditional society except when one of the partners was a witch or a night dancer.
  • Virginity was highly valued by most African traditional societies.  A girl who was married when still a virgin would earn her parents and relatives a lot of respect, pride and special gifts were given.
  • Marriage was between partners of the same tribes i.e. inter- marriage was forbidden and in case it happened the couple would be isolated by the community.
  • Marriage was   asocial affair built on a permanent basis i.e.  Couples were expected to their agreement for ever until death.
  • Polygamy was highly practiced i.e. man married as many wives to get enough wealth, labour and sexual satisfaction.
  • Marriage was between people of the opposite sex i.e. between man and woman and marriage between people of the same sex was forbidden.
  • Marriage was sealed by the payment of bride wealth i.e. marriage took place after full payment of bride wealth.
  • Marriage was also across clans i.e. between people of different clans and marrying from the same clan was sinful because the two were brothers and sisters.
  • Marriage was  a communal affairs i.e. parents and relatives were actively involved in the affairs of  the  children through offering sex education, choice making.etc

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