Review of Dr Opeyemi’s ‘Sex Education Made Easy’ by Olorunsogo Toluwani

September 8, 2020
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Sex Education Made Easy is a simple guide made for parents and guardians who struggle with teaching their wards about sex, sexual health and reproductive issues. If you are a parent, guardian, teacher, adult who is genuinely concerned about sex education of young people, this is the book to read. Taking introspective, Dr Opeyemi Adeyemi shelters the book around the growth of young people and the importance of sexual education which will make them understand themselves, their bodies, and that of others around them. Having interacted with some youths, the author is led to create a guide for parents to be able to visit current sex-related problems that plague society.

The book is introduced by an exposition of the experiences of a few teenagers who have somehow been affected by lack of proper Sex Education. 

These accounts are confessions of certain young people who have had personal encounters with Dr Yemi. They highlight a general exposure to sex and sex-related issues that have spread among these young people, and which may have harmed them unknown to their parents and guardians.

Addressing parents in chapter one of the book, the author gives reasons why the role of ‘Sex Educator’ should be theirs and not anyone else. 

She reasons that first of all, the child is yours and only you can truly set a standard being the first point of contact for the child. It only makes it more right to take on the responsibility of educating him or her about sex and issues surrounding sex. The parent should decide the standards and create a pathway for seamless communication between you and your child. Pushing the conversation, the chapter teaches how to begin the conversation and how to properly engage the child, featuring several stories told by advocates and sexual health experts where they share their personal experiences and growth towards sexual enlightenment.

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The book in chapter two explores the disparities between sex, sexuality and sexual health, emphasising on the importance of speaking up and educating your child about these issues from the early years of that child and according to age groups. When you come to Chapter three of the book, it helps you to understand extensively the various stages of the growth and development of your child and how to properly address your child during these stages. Highlighting coping strategies for both parent and child, the author provides and assist parents to properly manage these stages in the growth of their child(ren).

From addressing the issue of sexually transmitted diseases, where the pros, cons and symptoms of these sex-related infections and diseases are explored, the author visits the matter of attaining the choice to have sex in chapter five emphasising on the child’s need to think these matters through by himself or herself. Allowing the issue of choice to run, the author also attacks the matter of using contraceptives and other protectives during or for sex. The chapter discusses the ways to use condoms and contraceptives for protection.

When the author corners on reproductive diseases and infections in Chapter Six, she informs on the effects of such diseases on both sexes. The symptoms of these diseases and how they can be managed are discussed. Approaching issues relating to masturbation and menstruation, the book runs through the subjects of ejaculation, erections, orgasms and menopause in Chapter Seven. The author expresses on the normalcy of all these situations.

When we reach Chapter Eight, the book begins to lead on a more socio-psychological path. The author begins to bite down on the subjects of relationships, self-esteem, peer pressure and pornography, abuse, consent, gender empowerment and harmful cultural practices. Sexual abuse is one of the issues that we have for years battled and people must begin to regard as an issue that needs to be fought with urgency and dedication.

Dr Yemi does well to unapologetically highlight the sex-related problems that exist now in society among young people. In her genuine concern for the well-being of young people, she does not spare a glance at disapproving eyes while she reveals, untucks and finesses all these sex-related issues. Her encounter with youths has allowed her to be strategic in picking subjects that directly harm these young people.

The book at first glance seems like it has been written for parents. This is true, but when you allow yourself to sit with the book and critically go through its content, you realise that it is written with consideration of youths. It is about them – their growth from childhood into puberty, adolescence then into adulthood. The book is not just filled with the pros and cons for parents who are looking for how to engage in their children’s sex education, but considers the perks of the growing child.

Another thing with this book is that the author doesn’t just focus on a singular gender, but includes the male gender in these issues. With this, we begin to understand that gender empowerment does not only consider the girl in battling against rape but also addresses the need for the re-education of male child; the re-education of both genders truly.

Where she mentions that we all need to break the silence that somehow empowers practitioners of harmful cultures and rapists and bullies, we are made to reconsider some teachings of society and some conventional practices that we have adopted.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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