It is easier to train a child than training an adult; the image of ourselves we develop and carry is based on what we were told repeatedly during our formative years. If they were supportive words then it helps to boost our self esteem and value in later years. If they are words of affirmation it can help provide a solid, positive foundation for our thinking. They help us see others through the eyes of love and not violence. And if we were abused as children, we end up becoming abusers ourselves. Human sexuality is the totality of our being. It starts from birth and last still death. It’s about our being a female and a male, it also includes how we dress, talk, walk etc. It portrays our individual personality. Talking about sexuality is crucial to a child’s development; start doing the training now with that child because the words that they (kids) hear in those early years continue to playback in endless loops in their minds as adults and this will determine how they relate with people of opposite sex: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEX AND GENDER? Sex versus Gender Sex is use to describe whether a person is a male or female, boy or girl, man or woman. It refers to those characteristics differing between male and female which are biological: genetic differences, hormones, reproductive organs , external genitalia, and what are known as “secondary sex characteristics” such as hair growth patterns, tones of voice, distribution of muscle mass, etc It is also however use to describe the act of reproduction. Every living thing is expected by God to give birth to its kind so that the world will not finish until God wants it to, so as to ensure this, God made the sexual part of all living things. In animals, they do not have to get marry before having sex but humans have to wait and get marry first because God wants every child to have a mother and father so the child will be well taken care of. . “Gender,” on the other hand, refers to things like behaviours, attitudes, emotional styles, personality types, thoughts, and responsibilities that different societies consider appropriate for men and women depending on their historical period, location, and traditions. Gender differences have been shown to differ across time and place, while sex differences tend to be more similar and stable across cultures and historical periods. Sex Gender Genetic differences Behaviours Hormones Attitudes Reproductive organs Emotional and communication styles Genitals Personality types Secondary sex characteristics, such voice, and as: hair growth patterns, tones of Content of thoughts, distribution of muscle mass styles of thinking

Responsibilities Social roles and Skill Dress Work/career

Every child needs to know that the pain of growing up is due to a number of complex factors such as the differences mentioned above, I will like to talk firstly about the physical changes that occur in our body; There are three stages of adolescent growth; The early stage (7-9yrs): it’s time of adjustment to the physical changes that start to occur as the person approaches puberty. It is characterize by acute embarrassment and intensity of feeling. The middle stage (12-19yrs): it’s time of growing emotionally independent of parents. Since the boy or girl is seeking to establish an identity, the child is open to a number of influences and is subject to greater peer pressure. Late stage (19-21yrs): he/she considers him/herself as a man /woman and is more ready and it should be remembered, more suitable to experiment sexually. The independence from parents is more or less complete. His/her eventual behaviour is formed to greater or lesser degree by the expectations of his nationality, social class, religions group or sub-culture. The sub-culture may encourage delinquency or an anti-authoritarian attitude. To be continued.......

See part 2 here:

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence 2012.

Comment on this Post


Hi Tessie,

Warm greetings from Uganda. Thanks for your very informative post. You make many important points about childhood, gender, sexuality and development. I hope that many others can read and benefit from what you are sharing.

I have enjoyed reading about your personal story and the work that you do from other posts you have written. Is this work on gender and child development part of NGO that you started? I would love to learn more about your work.

Thanks again for speaking up in our community. I admire your strength!

Best, Kirsten

hi Kirsten, i am glad that you enjoy what i write. i believe that bahavioural change is what the world needs to fight against this menace call gender voilence. if the female child is taught to defend her right and realise her self worth at an early stage, then she will not allow any body take undue advantage of her and if the male child is taught to appreciate the differences and to respect it, then he will realise that that the girl next door is as important to life as he is. what i do is basically create this awareness in women so that we can rescue our children form voilence and also help the abused to regain their self worth.

salient cry

Your posting is very spot on when it comes to the realities that males and females have to inevitably face in society at some point in their lives. Usually, the changes in our bodies, outlooks as well as the lessons we could learn definitely stem from an early age. There is no doubt that neither gender has much to do with the perceptions of being male or female unless they are taught these values. I agree with the idea of children being schooled at an early age about what to expect as boys or girls in society, including gaining self esteem based on what is explained to them as they grow up. Whatever we teach our children should be lessons that serve them well in life as they become adults. Like you rightly said if this exercise is done in the right way, it ensures that self esteem is assured in both males and females with time. It also makes men know how to properly treat women and work with them as equals thus creating a mutual respect on both sides. This obviously means that a man who truly understands such dynamics instilled since childhood of the differences between him and a woman, will never violate her person or her mental capacity in any way whatsoever. Women must learn to work well with their male counterparts as well on all levels of life and this is easy once they have been properly schooled in the lessons of what it means to be a woman and a partner to the males in her life. Tessie, thanks for a well-written piece that is also very eye opening and as enlightening as anything I have read in a long time. As parents, we should all make it our duty and obligation to guide our children along the right path so they can become adults we can be proud of no matter their gender. Look forward to the rest of this posting!


Dear Tessie,

Thank-you for sharing this - both parts are very informative and fit very well together. I am both glad and impressed to see the distinctions you make and a timeline for the same, because trying to bring about change without a complete knowledge base can be rather dangerous. I hope you will write more about your actions and views, I look forward to reading!

Gaurav Nakhare | WP Listener

hi Gaurav, thank you for sparing time to read my post, i pray i dont disappoint you. i appreciate your confidence in my write-ups. thank you

salient cry