Papa, c’est quoi la contraception?
This text is an imagined discussion between a father and his daughter on contraception and contraceptive methods. Stéphane is going to help his pre-teen daughter with a homework assignment, but it will become an opportunity to help his daughter make a choice when she is sexually active. It is a fact, the role of fathers in the sexual education of children is very important.
– Dad, what is contraception?
It was the second time in a week that his daughter had asked him the same question. The first time he was able to evade himself by alleging that he was late for a very important meeting.
This time he had no excuse. Annoyed, Stéphane put down his newspaper asking:
– But where are you going to get all these ideas? Ask mom, she can help you
– No dad, she was the one who told me to talk to you about it.
But what is she playing at? Stéphane wondered. These are not men’s questions… She is the woman, it is up to her to answer these questions.
But the little one was there, determined to have her answers.
– Why do you want to talk about contraception today? You are only 13 years old.
– Exactly dad at school, we were told to discuss with our parents on the subject of sex education.
– And what do you want to know about contraception?
– Everything daddy. The teacher gave us the duty to define contraception and especially to give different methods of contraception.
Stéphane was trapped.
- Take a notebook, today we are going to talk about contraception.
His daughter does.
- So, contraception is the set of methods used so that in the event of sexual intercourse, pregnancy does not occur. Contraception helps prevent having a baby when you are not ready.
- But daddy, why wouldn’t we be ready to have babies yet if we have sex anyway?
- We are not ready to have babies when the mother has already had a baby and it is still very small. This is so that she can rest and watch the baby grow. Because having children together can harm a woman’s body. So the mother also decides to use contraception. There are also cases where mom and dad already have babies and decide not to have them now. Often too, we are too young like you to have babies, so although we love each other, we must be able to grow ourselves and prepare a future for our child. Indeed, sometimes very young girls have babies, they are not ready to assume them. They are afraid of their parents and sometimes they are kicked out of the family home. So they decide to have an abortion. But they employ practices dangerous to health and the body suffers very serious damage. Contraception helps them avoid this.
- Ah ok dad, I understand better then … if I’m not ready to have a baby now or when I’m older, I have to use contraceptive methods for my health. But daddy tell me: how many methods of contraception are there? I need four (4) for my presentation.
If at first he thought it would be a painful task, he soon realized that it was his role to educate his daughter, to break taboos and not to put barriers between them. But, he always told himself that this conversation, she would probably have it with her mother.
But, between discussing contraception with his daughter or letting her discover the adult world on TV, or among his friends, he preferred this option better.
Stéphane reflected inwardly: Should women and girls be the only ones to talk about contraception? And why wouldn’t a father talk to his daughter …
Through a quick internet search, he obtains information. He chooses some of them, which he presents to his daughter for his duty and which may be able to help him herself, we never know.
Stéphane then talks to his daughter about the intrauterine device, the pills and the father to point out that the pills are not ideal for those who are distracted, because they require regular intake. The father talks about the injectable, male or female condoms, he tells his daughter that condoms are the only method – along with abstinence – that protects against STIs, including HIV. They don’t require a prescription, are inexpensive or free, and easy to obtain.
Stéphane, more and more inspired, talks about the morning after pill. It is also called emergency contraception because it offers the possibility of preventing pregnancy when a woman has had unprotected sex (with or without her consent) or when the contraceptive method has failed. But he advises not to abuse it. Like any protective father, he wanted to talk to her about abstinence, his preferred method. Until then, he trusted his daughter to practice abstinence. But nothing could guarantee him that for long.
Samira was satisfied with this little chat with her dad, and above all ready for his presentation. She wondered how many of her friends had had the chance to discuss the topic of the presentation with their father. Tomorrow, she will amaze them.
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About the author: Written by Goli Carelle Laetitia, Ivorian blogger at www.heroinesdici.com