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Vicious circle

Lack of sexual education seems to lead to "generational hex" to many families

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John(pseudonym) is a very close friend of mine. We grew up together in the same neighborhood and assisted to the same school (primary and secondary). On High school days, we formed a rock band; we really had fun. After high school, we stop hanging out frequently due to university and work-related activities. Nowadays, we usually concur twice a year, due to school meetings or some birthdays.

3 years ago we meet at a high school reunion, and he told me that his youngest sister, who was 17 years old and finishing high school at that time, was pregnant. He was pretty shocked since his sister had planned to go to college and she probably would have to postpone that, at least temporarily. It was rare for me too, she was kind of a sister to me; I just told him to calm down, because things like that happened everyday and everywhere, and that he should support her as he can.

I called him this week and we talked for a couple of hours. Although happy to play and to spend time with his now-3-year-old nephew, he was very concerned about the future of his sister. 20 years old now, she is fully dedicated to her son, and things don't seem to change in the near future.

He told me "perhaps my family is hexed. My grandmother escaped with my grandfather when they were teenagers and had my mom. My mom and dad quit college since my mom got pregnant with my oldest sister. My oldest sister quit college too at her sophomore year in the same scenario, and now my youngest sis. She's is very upset, she always says she should use protection or have waited. I'm the only clean..."

We were deepening into the topic, and we realized is a pretty common reality in Peru. We know many similar cases, from closest families from relatives and friends. He concluded that "Maybe teenage parents are very busy trying to feed their families and leave pregnancy or sex-related topics aside, and since school lacks serious sex education, could lead to a vicious circle. Their children may be exposed to the same scenario in the future", John stated.

Having a child is awesome, but seems to be more awesome when it happens in the auspicious life stage.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Thanks Albert for sharing this story that highlights how culture and society tends to reproduce oneself. I wonder if to get out of the "vicious circle" there might be way to offer support to teen parents so that they have the tools to talk with their children as well as provide other resources to kids. It also made me think of this campaign: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-srh/research/bedsider-campaign

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