Corrupt society, bad influence on adolescence and youths – Experts
The high level of crime and other social vices in the country has been blamed on the corrupt environment.
This observation was made by Iwalola Akin-Jimoh, Executive Director, Youth Empowerment Foundation, YEP, a non-governmental organisation, at media round table organized recently by Development Communications, (DEVCOMS), also a non-governmental organization, themed: ’Life Planning for Adolescents and Youths (LPAY), in Lagos,.
Speaking on the topic: ‘’Creating a Safe space for Youth and Adolescents in Nigeria (Life skills for adolescents and youths),’’ Akin-Jimoh, who was represented by Tolulope Osope, noted that there are high demands on youths in an environment that is ridden with corruption and so they adopt short cut in order to measure up.
She further explained that in order to build a virile society and raise a productive adolescents, parents should develop personal relationship with their children as this will help them to know what is happening to their children and what is going on their minds.
To create safe space for these wards, Akin- Jimoh believes that parents should learn to take responsibility for their children’s safety, involve them in continuous empowerment on life skills, encourage them to speak up when necessary, identify core values to be upheld in the space and set group norms.
In her contribution, Wemimo Adebiyi, a behavioural management coach, said that most parents don’t know how and when to start explaining sex and sexuality to their children.
Speaking on the topic ‘’Practical Ways for Introducing Adolescents & Youths to Sexuality and Reproductive Information’’ she said children should be enlightened on their body components as early as two-five years.
‘’Children are curious about their bodies, being a boy or girl. Their curiosity creates a natural opportunity to begin the conversation and start building a respectful relationship,’’ she advised.
Adebiyi further highlighted that from the age of 10, children should be taught the appropriate names for their body parts. It’s also important to prepare them to make responsible choices whenever they become sexually active. She revealed that research has shown that by the time these young adults get to the age of 19, 70% of them have had sex.
‘’It’s no longer a word, ‘don’t have sex.’ So in addition to conveying what you know about sexual relationships, it’s important to talk with teens about abstinence, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
“Fifty five abortion per 1,000 women rates are reported yearly, half of which are adolescents, out of unsafe sex which resulted to unplanned pregnancy. Unsafe sex also exposes them to Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV with a prevalence of 25 percent among adolescent in the south eastern part of the country and 28 percent in the northern part of the country.’’
She therefore advocated that enlightenment about sex education should commence early so that children would know their rights.