Both parents vital to raising a child

The issue of single parenthood is worrying.

The issue of single parenthood is worrying.

On one level it clearly indicates a terrifying symptom that our family foundations are non-existent.

On the other hand, perhaps most dangerously, it means that the backbone of our future lies in tatters because these children will grow up without the privilege, experience and absolute right of being raised by both parents.

I find it absurd and unnatural that a child must grow up in the absence of one of his or her parents and undeniably suffer the consequences of a battle of which they were never the cause.

In our society there is even the prevailing myth "umntwana uyisichitho". Loosely translated this means that a child is a bad omen to the survival of a supposedly happy relationship.

In other words, for most parents who are in casual relationships, the offspring is never planned. This obviously means that the complexities and responsibilities associated with parenthood are never considered prior to the sexual engagement.

For most of us, sex is an extramural activity. Therefore, the implications, or the fruits of such an act, are often ignored, which then results in the embarrassing and, ultimate, dissolution of a promising relationship.

In most instances, women are accused of using children to increase their chances of securing a long-term commitment from an often spineless, lustful and playful man who is only interested in sowing his wild oats as widely as possible.

As we propose or initiate relationships, it seems that the ultimate goal, or the determining factor, in terms of whether or not the relationship survives depends largely on sexual compatibility.

In this deadly game of Russian roulette most of us end up with far more than we bargained for.

In this brutal game of "one loving another", an assortment of sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV-Aids, to mention but a few, become common.

I recall when I was still a novice in this sex game, I reported a striking pain in my crotch to my uncle. I told him that there was an itching and uncomfortable visible rash on my manhood. To my amazement he expressed pride and admiration for the fact that I was sexually active and that there would soon be a makoti in the Mazibuko clan. He completely ignored my desperate cry for help.

I later learnt that most of my peers, who had never enjoyed the sight of a naked woman, would claim to be sexually infected, to the extent of walking with a limp, to portray themselves as sex conquerors.

You can imagine the trauma, escalation of diseases, the increasing number of unwanted pregnancies, the broken relationships and the ultimate consequence that children would be raised without one parent.

We must change the current moral, societal and cultural norms and the unwritten sexual attitudes

It is the least we can do for all our children, yours and mine.