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EVERYTHING BUT: Mouths of Babes

Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT: Mouths of Babes

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When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child . . . . – 1 Corinthians 13:11
WHEN the Apostle Paul alluded to childhood in his letter to the Corinthians, he was merely stressing a point that they had become lax in remembering.
As has always been the case, children naturally have their idiosyncrasies and characteristics that define them from adults.
These features are not just signs of childhood; they are as well of an immaturity. Yet, adults of this world keep fooling themselves that their charges are more mature than they actually are.
And to boot, they pressure these children, deliberately or inadvertently, into behaving – or attempting to act – as adults would. Truth be told, the social conduct of a child is almost exclusively the learned behaviour from a parent or guardian.
Here we have children of primary age cavorting in the flesh at school, obviously influenced through the looseness, or slackness, or carelessness, or indifference of familial adults whose pastime has been rooted in material or images for their own sexual excitements.
Pray tell, what excites any seven-year-old so, that his phallus could possibly be noticeable? What so arouses a nine-year-old schoolgirl that her gyrating torso could rival that of the Brazilian samba girl wearing nothing but a mask?
What nourishes the temerity of a primary school pupil to tell his adult teacher how he would like to pass the time with her in bed, and by what route and in which position – in language, what little there is, of a porno movie?
Do any of the little ones above speak as a child? Indeed not! Their words and their actions are of adults – copied from family and family friends around them.
And what is our answer to this worrying trend? Condoms!
The rubber sheath is now the panacea for all social ills and bad practice. It protects you from STDs and HIV/AIDS; and of late it is being recommended to save your child from school.
A nonsense being paraded as profound thought.
One woman, probably not a mother, acknowledging that “kids are having unprotected sex”, declared that making condoms available in school “seems to make sense”.
Another thought the argument that “school is a place to go to be educated, not to be provided with condoms” was disingenuous.
Yet another proffered that “handing out condoms is in no way encouraging a sexually active lifestyle”; it was only providing teens with the “necessary tools to be safe”.
This better-safe-than-sorry syndrome demonstrates the extent to which the majority of us are prepared to put up with ineffectual applications passing as problem elixirs.
Even my goodly friend George Griffith doesn’t have too much of a problem with condoms in school – well, he won’t have them in primary; secondary only.
To his credit, and treading professionally carefully, as director of the Barbados Family Planning Association, Mr Griffith insists on “discreet” access in locker rooms, or in the office of the school nurse; he is not for widespread distribution.
Condoms, says my friend, “should be accessible to those persons who really need them”. And who needs them? According to Mr Griffith, those school students who are sexually active.
Well, why are students having sex in school, or out of school, for that matter? Don’t try selling me the hormones theory!
Much of sex has to do with incitement as with excitement. At pupil/student age, the mantra must be: Children, go to school and learn well; not: Go to school, may have sex!
If there is one thing on which George and I may be fully agreed is that there are parents who are aware their children are sexually active, but often turn a blind eye to it.
The facts are that as adults we are simply wimping out – as parents, and as friends and neighbours of parents. Let our children have their childhood.
It is our bounden duty.