Adolescent period is a critical stage in human development; this is the stage where the future of every human being is shaped, mistakes made on this stage can ruin oneís entire future. It is the period when the body starts developing and a person starts having strange feelings and seeing certain body changes. It is during this period that young people become aware of members of opposite sex, or having sexual fantasies of attractive members of opposite sex. The body responds to what the eyes see, ears hear and the brain thinks.
According to my own study, most young people at this stage are driven by fear not fantasies. Fear of being left behind when their friends are enjoying life and fear of failing. They are eager to be accepted into adulthood, they want to be treated like adults not children so they do anything to earn their recognition and if not properly advised they find themselves in deep mess. In other words I can say they experiment everything they hear and see without admitting their ignorance. Above the fear, some are hand driven by the community (cultural and religious beliefs).
Young people are also prone to misguiding information and sexual harassment during this stage. People take advantage of their innocence and ignorance to harass and misguide them. In most countries mainly in the Sub Sahara region culturally when a person reaches puberty he or she goes through initiation ceremony to welcome him or her into adulthood. Most of these initiation ceremonies involves the youth having a debut sexual encounter with a fellow youth or an adult. For it is believed that its only through sexual intercourse that a young person can be welcomed in adulthood or else she or he wonít be able to hold a steady family. In Malawi there have been cases where by young girls as little as twelve have been forced to sleep with adults to welcome them into adulthood and not to mention the female circumcision in Kenya and other countries in the region.
These are just few of more shocking things that young people in their adolescent age face, it seems there is nowhere to turn to for the youth. Even the Christian youth are not safe from the misguiding information and harassment.
Eight out of ten Christian teens I asked admitted to being afraid when they first noticed the changes in their body. ďThere was nobody to talk to after having my first wet dreams,Ē a sixteen year old boy told me. ďAs a Christian I felt dirty and separated from God and when I tried to seek advice from a church elder, he told me that I was possessed with demons and need deliverance.Ē And another told me that at their church they teach that itís unchristian to have sexual feelings.
But is it really unchristian to have sexual feeling or wet dreams? Or does one need to have sexual intercourse to be welcomed into adulthood?
I am not trying to intrude into your private lives or cultural beliefs; I just want to talk reality of the matter here. Although people are now discussing sexual related topics openly now, still most cultures and denominations feel that itís abomination to do so.
Now let me go back to the questions, itís normal to have wet dreams and one does not need to have sexual intercourse to be called an adult, there is no link between the two. Let me make something clear here; I have never come across a verse in the Bible which describes sexual feelings as a sin. And adulthood is not displayed through sexual intercourse but rather through self discipline and character. I donít know the motive behind the misguiding information, but I am certain that those who do so have once been told the same things and gone through the same pain and fear. It is a shame that people who were supposed to protect and guide the youth are the ones in forefront misguiding and harassing the youth.
Who is responsible for providing our young friends with the right information?