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Why parental care is important in tackling gay influence
By Felix Odhiambo | Updated Dec 13, 2018 at 11:48 EAT
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Homosexuality in Kisumu
SUMMARY

Parents have a role to play in fighting homosexuality in the society. But they must first understand its biological and social implications

Apparently, same-sex relationships and marriages are frustrating the war against STIs, especially HIV/Aids

Parents have a role to play in fighting homosexuality in the society. But they must first understand its biological and social implications. Apparently, same-sex relationships and marriages are frustrating the war against STIs, especially HIV/Aids. It is time we learnt that prevention is better than cure.

A recent report by a research group that uncovered 6,672 gays from Kisumu, Kiambu and Mombasa counties during an HIV survey raises the red flag. While the total estimates of gays in Kenya hits 19,175, that of lesbians remains unestablished and it is believed the number could be higher.

Many people believe homosexuality is a spiritual problem given the high level of reproof it receives from religious sects. But until we understand the biological and social constructs of human beings, we may live to admonish people for the wrong reasons and beliefs.

After all, the so-called pious people have been carped for leading a life of hypocrisy in the name of service to God. The debate on whether gender is a social or biological construct has lingered in the scientific domain for ages.

Most scientists believe that individual roles, behavior, activities and attributes (which define gender) are demarcated by a person's community.

A good number, on the compromise, believe that such constructs are defined by one's physiological and psychological processes. Biologically, human body processes are triggered by hormones. Hence, a person's sex hormones influence their venereal feelings and behaviors.

Overproduction or underproduction of such hormones leads to hormonal disorder which may, among other complications, lead to the desire to have sexual intercourse with the same sex.

For instance, the main female hormone, oestrogen, is primarily produced by the ovaries, but women also produce androgens (male-like hormones) such as testosterones and DHEAS. When androgens are overproduced, a woman may develop sexual attraction to other women.

Excess production of estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen in males, may lead to a similar case in men. Most people tend to hide the reality because of stigma. There are gender constructs considered by specific communities to belong to either men or women. For example, in most Kenyan communities, a slight frame, thin voice, smooth face and certain dressing mannerisms are attributed to women.

As such, victims prefer to deal with their conditions secretly than approach caregivers or counsellors for guidance. Parents and guardians should, therefore, be keen to identify such hormonal imbalances in their youngsters at early puberty by carefully monitoring their behaviors and relationship with both sexes. And when they notice discrepancies, instead of castigating and harassing the adolescents, they should make them understand and accept their situations while they seek help.

It is unfortunate parents have abandoned their roles to teachers and the society. Instead of building close relationships with their children to understand them, they dump them in boarding schools.

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