make boys liable

I think that one of the most overlooked yet critical reasons why there is such an alarming escalation in teenage pregnancies is because there is no accountability for the boys.

I think that one of the most overlooked yet critical reasons why there is such an alarming escalation in teenage pregnancies is because there is no accountability for the boys.

In African custom and culture all a boy does is simply acknowledge and accept that he is the one responsible for impregnating his partner.

However, there are a number of implications for the young woman. She has to drop out of school and raise an unplanned child, among other things. For the young man it is just another day in paradise.

This is precisely the reason why boys find it is so easy to sow their wild oats as widely and as far as they possibly can.

While times change and circumstantial reality demands that we adjust the way we lead our lives, African traditionalists have ensured that we remain stagnant and that our culture is not improved or aligned to cope with the pressures of the current sad state of affairs.

Morally, I think that it is grossly unfair that the lives of young girls should be messed up, often for the rest of their lives, when young men can continue to develop and even refuse to take material, emotional and parental responsibility for their offspring.

Our politicians have also let us down terribly because they have made the important role of parenting into a statutory issue.

Therefore, they leave very crucial and life-threatening decisions in the hands of people who are not mature and experienced enough to deal with such issues.

The danger is predictable. Parents lose the initiative and have already lost the right to discipline, teach, instil and enforce the norms and values that have to be maintained at a family level.

Young people are excited and titillated by sex. When they become sexually active they do not practise safe sex. As a matter of fact, they often inflate condoms and think it's some nasty mechanism designed to deprive them of the (fatal) pleasure of an act that is supposed to be natural.

They turn a blind eye to the reality of contracting HIV-Aids. Our children seem to have far more sexual experience than we will ever gain in all our lifetimes put together.

It doesn't matter that they come from good family backgrounds or that they have the freedom to acquire an education. They do not realise that the right to learn supercedes any other constitutional right that they are privileged to have.

These children, particularly boys, will intentionally misunderstand, exploit and abuse every other available avenue, because they know they will not be held accountable for their actions.

The law and our cultural practices have to be drastically reviewed if there is to be any future for the generations of our young people to come.

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