In Florida, the state under the governorship of Ron DeSantis passed the Parental Rights in Education bill—a law that bans the instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools from kindergarten through third grade. The law prohibits classroom discussion in grades K–3 about gender orientation and sexual identity. It is called the “don’t say gay” law. The law also forbids such lessons for older students unless they are “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate”.
Florida law believes that parents should have a say in what their children are taught in schools. The Governor states that he and his administration are committed to protecting the rights of parents. The governor believes that the government should never take the place of a parent. The thinking here is that humans are innately categorized as black or white people, boy or girl. Many African traditions are like conservative republicans’ religious, political, and social reasons; as a result, girls should think and act like mothers biologically, and boys should think and act like fathers.
The likes of Florida’s governor think, along with American conservative policymakers, that sexually explicit and age-inappropriate material should not be taught in classrooms. A straightforward approach that is like African traditional religious and social reasoning.
In conservative states like Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas, in African conservative reasoning, a child’s assigned sex at birth should be the emphasis, not on sexual orientation, which refers to matters like same sex attraction. Changing sexual or gender identities is not part of the conservative argument as reasoned by African religious conservatives and American conservative religious groups.
In a recent case in public decency law, DeSantis, the Florida governor, filed a complaint against the bar for having kids at a “sexually explicit drag show.” A drag queen is someone (usually male) who acts in a female manner, and a drag king is someone (usually female) who performs in a masculine manner.
In a Florida bar in Miami, called R House, a drag queen with exposed body parts, as shown in a viral video, was seen holding hands with a toddler girl, leading her around the location. The DeSantis’ administration, as part of their complaints against Miami’s R House, the Wynwood bar, allowed children to attend a sexually explicit drag show, an experience that African traditions and many laws will disallow and prohibit.
It will be seen as a disturbing trend in African society just like in American conservative states in terms of sexualizing these young people. Many parents and cultures in Africa will think along the lines of the Florida governor in terms of exposing children to inappropriate sexualized content as they view such acts as inappropriate.
In some quarters in America, among the progressives or liberals especially, topics like “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are just okay, but in African traditional settings, like in conservative territories in America, teaching gender ideology to children at elementary schools is depraved for children’s minds.
Adult sex with children and same-sex relationships are considered sickening by religious conservatives in the United States, and such behavior is frowned upon in many African countries as violating traditional norms and religious values.
In America, there are tensions between conservatives and liberals regarding what is called “gender-affirming care for children.” This is about some American policies and laws which call for biological males who identify as female to have access to female bathrooms and dormitories, and minors should get prescribed puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy, get surgical procedures to get rid of physical signs of their biological sex, such as breasts or facial hair, and get therapy to make them comfortable with the gender they identify with other than their biological sex.
The state’s surgeon general and health administrators like the Nigerian-born Dr. Joseph Ladapo of Florida, have questioned the science behind gender affirmative care as the scientific evidence supporting gender-affirming care “is extraordinarily weak.” Current professional organization standards, according to Dr. Ladapo and others, appear to follow a preferred political thought pattern rather than the highest level of widely accepted medical science, and children should be protected from politics-based medicine.
In African traditional culture, known for its strong religious-based conservatism, these types of sexual discussions around children will be viewed as uncomfortable and even taboo within the traditional African religion and customs.
Many conservative republican states, such as Florida, have passed laws requiring women and girls to play on sports teams of the “biological sex” on their birth certificates, and those who see themselves as women, such as transgender males, should be barred from competing against biological females. Such laws would hardly be made in Africa by many rulers as they would naturally view such competition in women’s sporting tournaments as unreasonable, forbidden, selfish, cheating, and fundamentally unfair. Many Africans would be surprised to learn that in America, biological males have been allowed to compete with biological females in sports such as weightlifting, track and field, and marathon running — and win outright because, according to American conservative policies, there is an unfair biological and physical advantage. This belief by conservative members of the Republican Party, often called the GOP (brief for “Grand Old Party”), will be consistent with beliefs about men and women in African culture and traditions.
Sexual exploitation of children and same-sex marriage in African culture are not recognized as alternatives to the heterosexual male-female relationship. In some African cultures, same-sex marriage happens among women not because of sexual orientation in terms of attractions, not as norms, values, and behavioral patterns, but for the purpose of procreation and continuity of the family’s lineage, which happens through one of the women who suffers from infertility, who is not usually married to a man or has a background in a royal family, and a man agreed by both to impregnate the fertile woman.
There are so many things progressive from America to Africa, such social movements’ mentalities, practices, and subjectivities could be at variance with African religious and traditional practices just like they are with Republican conservative practices and policies.
In my capacity as a professional psychologist, I affirm the position of the American Psychological Association that establishes that we should not discriminate based on race, religion, disability, weight, height, gender, sexual orientation, and social economic status. While
As one of African traditional nativity, I have my own values and personal standards. I do not allow myself to be influenced by African cultural norms in my professional work, as I do not discriminate against any human being, and I treat all with sensitivity, respect, and equality, irrespective of how they see themselves.
Africa, particularly Nigeria, should be cautious about accepting social products of various types from America as imports into Africa. Nigeria, as the most populous society in Africa, should be especially cautious. Whether one is American or not, most people will agree with an American of African ancestry who once said this about sexualizing young children by adults like drag queens, men who dress in women’s clothes and perform before an audience of children.
“They are underqualified to have children. They should have their children taken away from them. because it is child abuse. It is child abuse to put a half-naked adult in a room with a small child and have them read a book. It’s child abuse. ” Candace Owens
For the purpose of notation regarding cross-dressing, in the Esan tradition of Nigeria, there are special occasions when married women dress in men’s clothing, usually that of their husbands. The special ceremony is called Ukpukpe, and it involves cross-dressing in honor of a woman born in a certain village who dies (they call her “okwian”). These women are the wives of the same villagers while visiting the dead (Okwian’s) marital home, where they are showered with gifts, money, and food, and there is singing and dancing. This way of special dressing has nothing to do with some manners in the western world where some persons engage in cross-dressing, due to transgender identity, persons whose gender identification and expression differs from that which they were assigned at birth.
John Egbeazien Oshodi
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]
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