Mothers are a key female figure in the life of most girls. This also refers to the women who may not be a biological parent but play a key role in the life of a young girl; this could be a grandmother, aunt, teacher, stepmother, family friend, or just any responsible adult woman, maybe even a big female celebrity.
Young girls mirror who they see around them, so it should be no surprise if they behave just like the female adults they’re influenced by.
But how exactly do mothers influence their daughters?
- Mothers impact their daughters self image and even femininity from the onset of menstruation.
- Some mothers “cross-mentor” each others daughters.
- Mother-Daughter relationships can affect communication between life mates and female peers
- Biological mothers menopause can have effect on daughters fertility
- Mothers teach life, not through words but by what she does.
- Et cetera.
The above list just proves how a mother impacts their daughters life in the short and long term. However, is it a mothers responsibility to talk to her daughter about sex, and more, should mothers teach daughters to enjoy sex?
The simple answer: YES.
A recent study claims mothers have a big influence over daughters views of sexuality. There are many reasons for this, some of which are:
- Mothers who talk about sex, positively influence their daughters behavior.
- Mothers exert more influence on the timing of their daughters first intercourse.
- Not talking about sex could lead to unintended pregnancy or even long term relationships in which the daughter is sexually unhappy.
- Mothers have a strong influence daughters femininity.
However, some mothers are afraid to openly discuss sexual health and safety with their daughters for various reasons such as cultural taboo’s or embarrassment among other reasons and so just keep quiet about it, never ever bringing up the issue.
When a sex scene comes on TV, everyone in the family feels uncomfortable and tries to be keep ‘busy’ until it’s over. This should not be the case.
Not discussing sexuality can lead to a great dent in a mother-daughter relationship because the more the daughter keeps her sexuality a secret, consequently the mother will start to play guessing games just to know and this would only be because a platform was never raised for mutual discussion.
Not talking about sex to your daughter at the right time will mean the job will be handed over to another person, an aunt who may not share the same views as you, a peer who is also uneducated on sexuality or even worse, it is left to the media to educate your child. What will you choose?
How to talk to your daughter about sex:
- Be open
- Do not be judgmental
- Be honest
- Do it creatively e.g watching a fun video together
- Follow up
- Do not intimidate and allow a serene environment for your daughter to share her feelings
- Make it part of a normal conversation instead of having one big nerve-wrecking talk.
SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd is a not for profit organization based in Zambia with a vision to raise a generation where girls are empowered, equipped and fulfilled in every aspect of their life, for the development of the entire world. To know more about SAFIGI’s goals and activities, visit: http://www.safetyfirstforgirls.org