By Funmi Ogundare
A Professor of Sociology, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Onipede Wusu, has stressed the need for Nigerians to be more responsible in managing their sexual and reproductive behaviour, as it will go a long way in improving the country’s economic status.
Wusu, who said this while delivering the 77th inaugural lecture of the institution titled ‘Gifts of Nature: The Soft Underbelly of Wellbeing in Society’, said effective family planning method should be encouraged to make people more responsible, adding that the teaching of sex education in schools should also be decisive to enable the youths protect themselves.
He attributed the persistence of poverty in the country to the prevailing sexual and reproductive behaviour and other factors such as corruption, prepodenrence of illiteracy, poor quality of education, growing levels of inequalities and insecurity in the country.
According to Wusu, “where there are frequent pregnancies, there will be several children on ground, and with the level of poverty in the country, you cannot improve your economic status and contribute to national savings. Nigerians should begin to make good use of their gifts towards self-progress and family advancement; and making the society great indeed. If we make this happen, our country will be transformed.”
He cited an instance of Japan where sex and reproduction are properly managed, saying that the consequence is usually high per capita income and high life expectancy.
“Japan can sustain their economy because their reproductive life is consistent with the economic progress. Unlike our own, we are not even ready to be responsible. People will live better than those who think sexual reproduction is a free gift and they can use it anyhow,” the don said.
Wusu expressed concern about the gradual failure of the family sexual socialisation agency which is promoting intergenerational sexual relationship and has become pervasive.
The revolution, the don noted is largely lubricated by the widespread practice wherein members of the older generation who are to socialise the younger generation into the society’s sexual norms and values, capable of improving their health and future standard of living, engage in illicit sexual relationships with them.
According to him, “popular slang used to capture this practice in society is ‘Aristo’ and this is promoting sexual permissiveness among the younger generation.
Thus, those who are supposed to be the custodian of healthy and progressive sexual culture are shaping the sex drive among young people towards a catastrophic model.”
This move, Wusu said emboldens the younger generation to embrace the sexual culture that disregard the health implications of risky sex, since most of the intergenerational sexual relationships are transactional and often disregard protection.
Other societal forces shaping sex drive among young people, the don noted include peer influence, broken homes, drugs, mass media, among others.