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Monday,October 26,2020 10:46 AM

In defence of virginity

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th December 2004 03:00 AM

WHO are virgins?” came the totally unexpected question from our eight-year-old. We are getting used to these surprising, but terribly frank, and innocent, sessions. Nothing could have prepared me for a question on virginity from this baby!

WHO are virgins?” came the totally unexpected question from our eight-year-old. We are getting used to these surprising, but terribly frank, and innocent, sessions. Nothing could have prepared me for a question on virginity from this baby!

By Chibita wa Duallo

WHO are virgins?” came the totally unexpected question from our eight-year-old. We are getting used to these surprising, but terribly frank, and innocent, sessions. Nothing could have prepared me for a question on virginity from this baby!

As the children read newspapers, magazines, novels and the internet, as they listen to radio stations and watch different television channels, the nature of questions become more and more sophisticated and mature.

They don’t have to read or watch these things from home. School, friends and computers are always available to co-parent. We have determined, however, to always find out the real question behind their questions as we attempt to fill the information gap. sometimes it is just a question of clarifying issues, or, first getting rid of some false concepts and hopefully replacing them with the right ones.

So we thought quickly about where an eight-year-old could have encountered “virgins”, or, at least the concept of virgins. This time, luckily, the source was not too difficult to discover.

The media has been awash with the word ever since it was reported several organisations like Family Life Network, True Love Waits, first Lady’s office were planning a march to celebrate virginity.

Indeed the First Lady threw her weight behind the effort and lent a lot of encouragement to the “virginity” movement. From the reaction in the media you could have thought virginity was a dirty word. As if virginity was an outdated, anti-modern and shameful word! This was all contrary to what we have been taught all along.

How much things change! Or, is it how much we can be given the impression that things have changed! Because of the apparent laxity with which sex has been portrayed in the media, it seems many people were taken aback by the possibility that there could still be some virgins at large!
This surprise very quickly turned into ridicule and mockery.

This reaction could be coming from several different angles. It reminded us of our adolescence, especially in school. Boys could spin long yarns about their sexual escapades. Lately, many of them have been confessing all those tales were meant to give a false impression. They did not want to look ‘uncool’ by accepting that they knew nothing about sex!

Virginity is a concept that evokes strong emotions. It is one of those things, which once lost, is never regained. Those who have lost it, if they talk about it, it evokes memories of happiness or sadness, depending on the circumstances.

That is why it is not good to judge anyone, who has lost it even when they are not married. We do not know the circumstances. Even if we knew, people make mistakes and should be allowed to move on. In the same vein though, we should not judge virgins and make them feel as if they are from a different planet.

African culture, because of what some have decided to call backwardness, celebrated virginity. Many cultures reserve a hefty prize for an aunt whose niece is found to be a virgin on the wedding night.

I am not at liberty to go into the details of how the aunt is supposed to find out if her niece is a virgin. Hitherto, these have been private matters, which had their own arena. Thanks to the newfound liberalism in the media, however, we can bring them out into the public, albeit cautiously.

The other factor that has forced the world to take the privacy out of the issues of sexuality is HIV/AIDS. Previously, as we were taught when HIV/AIDS had just reared its ugly head, a girl, who lost her virginity was afraid of being found out if she got pregnant. pregnancy was a sure way of being found out. With the coming of HIV/AIDS, however, pregnancy has lost its place at the top of the hierarchy of worries.

There is an increased motivation to celebrate and encourage virginity. This is where abstinence comes into the picture in ABC, Abstinence, Being Faithful, Condoms model.

“Daddy, you have not yet told me, what are virgins?” I was rudely awakened from my thought process. How was I supposed to summarise and simplify all this to my eight-year-old? Yet I had to because we had been presented with a golden opportunity to do some sex education and impart some old-fashioned African values.
It was not going to be a simple lesson.

There were many other sources of sex education, some of which were opposed to the approach we were taking. Yet we had to do it. It was our primary duty and we had to impart our own values before anyone else did it.

In defence of virginity

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