The narrative that one ought to keep themselves until marriage to have sex is fast fading. In fact, it has been fading since in the last two generations. Culturally, there were different traditions that provided for indulgences for different rites of passage. Recently, I watched a documentary about abortions that were taking place in remotest places of the country resulting from pregnancy acquired through unconventional sexual experience i.e. rape or certain traditional practice where men sleep with girls to acquaint themselves with before marriage. The dignity of partaking in this now trivialized experience was guarded jealously. Most religions still portend that sex before marriage carries some consequences. However, in some cases they mean sex before marriage is limited to the person you are going to marry
How did we come to this? Well, let’s begin at home. Most Kenyan nuclear families live in decent houses (at least two bedroomed or a semblance of the same) with a live-in house help (mostly from ushago). Both parent are working and come home too tired to do anything but shower, change and watch TV. They will then tyrannically bark order at the house-help for a good part of night and morning before going to work. Some house-helps vent their frustration on the kids during the day forcing them to do imaginable “grown-up” stuff on them. There you have it. Pre-marital sex right before a child even know what it means, he knows how to do it; where to touch, where to stroke and how it feels.
When children are old enough they start going to school. Alas! They carry on the habit by pursuing the forbidden with their friends. They even proudly explain to them how aunty told them to do this and that. Because they are not yet emotionally mature, there is no commitment. The boys will seek a favor from the nearest girl at any convenient time and place. When caught parent will whip them with canes with the only explanation being that what they were doing is “tabia mbaya”. This discourages most children and some refrain from it, not because they know it as wrong, but because of the fear of being caned or disappointing their parents.
Growing up in highly sexualized society only serves to multiply the craving. The media, through sensual music videos, movies, TV series and soap operas perennially perpetrate premarital sex and sex in general as normal, healthy and acceptable. In enclosed environments like high class self-contained houses or bungalows, there is limited socialization with other children except for public treats which are adult-monitored. In the heat of the moment siblings end up engaging in the act with one another. Matters even get out of hand with internet connectivity increasing in most middle and upper-class apartments. Children as young as 15 years old are given a powerful smartphone with censoring software.
In a bid to provide enough distractions to get teens off their backs, parents hand over self-destructive resources, opportunity and liberty. Cases of child abuse are met with shock and bitterness. Most fingers point in all directions but the source. It is these men; they are dogs I tell you! These insatiable or sexually-starved women who take advantage of young boys! Hawa watoto wa siku hizi wanatushangaza kabisa! But it started with innocent encounters then progressed to active soliciting and the grand finale of exploiting every opportunity that presents itself at whatever cost. God forbid, but some of these teens grow up to become dangerous sex offenders.
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