Ohh-ly Course

Sex and religion have never gotten along unless, of course, it takes place during marriage. I want to call your attention to one of the many references to premarital sex in the Bible: Hebrews 13:4. “Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

The Quran also shares the same sentiment with the Bible on premarital sex, albeit a bit extra. Quran (24:2) “As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes and do not let pity for them make you lenient
in ˹enforcing the law of Allah, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let several believers witness
their punishment.”

Reading the bit about “one hundred lashes” got me scratching my head in wonder. Will I ever get what’s coming to me? Perhaps all the lashes I got while younger have made up for it? I don’t know. But I do know that religion acts sort of like an abstinence contraceptive, if I may, for the under-aged or sexually inexperienced Nigerian youths. I know because I’ve seen it happen many times, and research agrees with me.

One important aspect of religion that emphasizes the depth of religious convictions and commitment is religiosity. It is described as a person’s faith, spirituality, and veneration of a deity. Because abstinence has been repeatedly cited as the most effective means of preventing STIs and unintended pregnancies. That’s why the phrase “I’m waiting till my wedding night” has served as a deterrent for many years.

According to Hirschi and Stark, connections within societal institutions, such as church and family, restrain individuals from engaging in non-standard behaviours by encouraging oversight of youth and providing models for
healthy behaviours. You hear the pastor preach at church every Wednesday and Sunday about how he met “Rev Mrs” at a Sunday service, and they clicked right away but didn’t have sex until their wedding night.

When you get back home, your parents confirm the pastor’s assertion by stating that’s how they met. Whether true or not, people’s environments and shared moral standards have a way of influencing them, especially while they’re young, because that’s when they’re most susceptible.

Oluwaseyi Dolapo Somefun’s (a published health researcher) research article for BMC believes that interaction with religious instructions and leaders may influence youth religiosity, which may eventually influence youth sexual behaviour. He also anticipates that these interactions would be strengthened in the presence of parents in the household and with parental religious affiliation. I concur entirely.

Devout parents also contribute to the long-term sexual abstinence of many Nigerian teenagers. Surely, no child wants to ever disappoint their parents. However, one particular thing I’ve been privy to notice from people who have devout parents but still, one way or the other, end up having sex is that they are highly petrified at the idea of them finding out they’re sexually active.

There’s this belief that kids whose parents are clergymen have a tinge to commit the most sin. I get that it is an unfair
stereotype and unnecessary pressure to put on those who are just trying to live their lives, but most people reading this and have friends who fall under this bracket can agree so could Babara.

She was given the name after her confirmation, but she never really liked it and the pressure it came with. Her father
had been a strict parishioner for as long as she could remember, and he made sure neither she nor her brother strayed a step out of line.

Also read: Oddbod & The City: My Mother, My Sister

Barbara always felt like she’d been imprisoned in her own home, but even prisoners find ways to entertain themselves, and hers was reading steamy erotic novels. She used her pocket money to buy two more for everyone her dad burnt, confiscated, or tore.

Despite being a 24-year-old first-class graduate, she’s never treated like an adult. Her mom is her confidant, but there’s not much she can do about her husband; it was who he was. She imagined a world where everything was loose and careless through the stories she read. There, she had a fictitious boyfriend who was always there for her whenever she felt the urge to masturbate—a habit she had developed while attending university and had become increasingly difficult to conceal.

She found herself at a Charismatic group’s prayer session with them, trying to cast out the demon on the day her luck
finally ran out, and her father walked in on her.

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