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Sexual-socialization is simply defined as the process by which people learn and conceptualize sexual knowledge, skills, attitude, and norms for sexual relationships. Since people come from different cultural background, they happen to get lessons on sexual-socialization from their cultures and life processes that start at childhood and increases as a person approaches adolescence. Sexual conceptualization is introduced to the children during their early stages in school and by their parents as a step of moral guidance. It is an issue that most parents fail to inculcate in their children as they grow since most children find it hard to discuss sexual matters with their parents.
In most of the cultures, children are brought up at their tender age by women with men mostly playing the role of bread winners. Therefore, in case of any lesson which need to be learnt at the childhood it has to start from the mother. As far as this topic is concerned, I may not have adequate information on both genders but, being a male I tend not to be biased in this discussion. From the onset, we have to admit that sexual socialization has not been given ample time and space at early childhood education. In connection to this, much has been left for the adolescents to explore by themselves with the help of their peers.
With the nature of background described above, it is evident that this lesson can take different courses. In my case I learnt about sexual socialization from parents and peers at school though, media came in later when I could make sense of some of adverts from television and film that required parental guidance at a time when parents were out working.
Parent had the first opportunity to equip me with the most fundamental knowledge about sexual socialization. For example, whenever we watched a program on TV either of the parents could be in possession of the remote control ready to change the channel if not to switch of the TV in case o an incident on the film which would require parental guidance. This would be followed by a short ‘lecture’ as to why I should not watch such a channel. Mostly these were incident where adult of the opposite gender would engage in intense kissing or a man would be violent towards a woman. Here, my dad could condemn such act in my presence. On the contrast he appreciated any man who treated a lady fairly and he made sure I noticed it. Equally to my mother she taught me to be kind to girls and take care of them whenever we played with them. Thus, I grew knowing that ladies are to be treated well.
From my peers, I would hear the different version of the story concerning sexual socialization. One of my friends told us of a house help who could tease his penis and massage his testicles while bathing him, and the feeling it brought. Out of curiosity I started playing with my genital during bath but, with a lot of caution for my parent to notice. It’s from school that the sexual-socialization took a new dimension, at about ten years a topic in science about human reproduction took me deeper into this process of human development. We learnt about the differences in genders reproduction system. Caution was given against playing sex. It was considered a social misconduct and any young person associated with engaging in such behavior was rebuked by the society.
At the early stage of development, sexuality revolved around heterosexuality until at later stages of growth when other horizons on sexuality came into the picture, such as homosexuality and lesbianism. To me these terminologies came to my cognition at high school. The modern societies have adopted a passive stand regarding institutions as a sole care taker of the children and handle sexual education. Sexuality is one lesson that to many it is learnt through trial and error. No one in particular is out to take the responsibility of educating the child about sexual-socialization. The parents are passing this responsibility to the teachers and the teacherrs to the priests, and the priest is throwing it back to the family. In this cycle, the child is the victim of improper information.
Though sexual-socialization is introduced at kindergarten, the dynamism of modern times and development of information technology is not incorporated in the syllabus and as a result, the kids learned a lot without proper guidance from the parent or other guardians. In modern community childhood, education forbids any form of sexual exploration. From education I got from the most formal sources showed me that sex is just a biological need. None talked about emotional or body sensational part of the sex. I grew knowing that I should not involve in ‘bad’ sexual behaviors but, I did not know why. This left me in a dilemma of what to do with body sensational and emotions. A wet dream was a ‘sin’ according to the priest, a bad manner to the parents and a laughing matter to my peers.
With time, a low personal opinion was developing leading to low self-esteem in my knowledge about my sexuality and sexual-socialization. This is common to the young people who are struggling with the issue of cognition and sexuality. It is fundamental for a child to have adequate knowledge of his or her sexuality orientation and the reasons why it should not be otherwise. This is a role to be played by all the stakeholders involved in early childhood development. Media is not exempted in this change of the opinion neither, the church. Everyone has to be committed to bringing up a responsible and knowledgeable generation of young people.
Societies may have developed but, it is not until they embrace the importance of sexual education, are they going to exprience total moral development. For the developing countries, a paradigm shift of the sexual education has to be undertaken, shedding off unacceptable cultures that are biased to the right of different genders. This should be a cross-gender campaign and should not be biased on either male or female.