7 Nigerian Women Talk About Receiving Sex Education

April 15, 2021

Do you remember when you received sex education? Was it in school taught by your biology teacher or at home, your mum telling you to stay away from sex in the middle of the night? In this article, we asked seven Nigerian women to share their experience receiving sex education. Here’s what they had to say.

Nneka, 24 

My mum taught me sex education one night when I was 12. We were very close because I am her only girl child. That night, she woke me up to say she had something important to tell me. She showed me images of the reproductive system. She was quite detailed — she talked about being attracted to the opposite sex, menstruation and the act of sexual intercourse. 

She told me if my hymen breaks, it means I’m no longer a virgin. She said it’s normal to like boys but engaging in sexual relations at my age was wrong, which is why most mothers don’t allow their daughters to have boyfriends. She said when I was ready I would know because it will feel right. 

The next day, she had a meeting with me and my junior brothers. She talked about the same things with them too. She even gave us a book to read — I don’t remember the title but it was sex education. After that day, she continued to remind us about what she told us. 

Imabong, 20

Nobody told me anything — I just knew. Growing up, adults believed we should know without being told. That’s bullshit if you ask me. When I started menstruating, my older sister told me never to go close to a boy. If not, I would get pregnant. To date, my mum has never asked me questions about my sex life. If she ever tries, it will be an awkward conversation.  

Soyaya, 37 

My mother gave me EVERY WOMAN when I was eight. She told me about periods, pregnancy, sex and everything I could understand at that age. I was the fifth girl she raised so she had perfected the system by then. She also let me watch risque movies so I could ask questions if I had any. In the end, I didn’t have sex till I was in my mid-20s while my friends, who were scared into it or left in silence were having sex from age 15. She is very forward-thinking for a northerner raised in the 1960s. 

Omosi, 18

I was 9 when my mother gave me the talk — that’s what she calls it till today. She explained what it means to have sex. She talked about intimate parts of my body. I had just started secondary school. She also told me that boys are stupid. LOL. 

Tareke, 22

I was taught sex education in a home economics class. I was in primary 6 at the time. I think the topic was initially puberty. She described sex, and she told us about condoms. She also told us what age a girl can get pregnant. To be honest, she did not give a lot of details. 

Favour, 25

Growing up, sex and all sex-related things were considered a sin in my house. We were not to speak of it ever. The things I knew I learnt from Basic Science classes, movies or my friend, Maureen. She was two years older than me. She indirectly educated me on a lot of things. 

The first time my mum came close to giving me sex education was when I got admission into the university. She said “Don’t talk to boys when you get there. Don’t even greet them. They just want to useless you.” That was all she said. 

Jojo, 26 

When I was ten, my mum sat me down to explain periods. She taught me how to count my period and then she taught me about sex. She explained how having sex can affect your periods. She didn’t sugar coat anything as she spoke. She said sex felt good, but it would feel better when I was older. She made me look forward to sex. 

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