Sexual immorality and social decay
Isidore Okpewho’s novel, The Last Duty illustrates the grim demand for sex in exchange for money and sundry items of survival in a war situation. In the novel, Toje the conceited, narcissist Urukpe chief, in a dire demonstration of callousness, incriminates his business rival Oshevire for allegedly conspiring with rebel soldiers. While Oshevire is in detention leaving his wife Aku and only son Oghenovo, Toje unconscionably takes advantage of his absence, offers Aku food and money in exchange for sexual gratification to revive his infirm manhood. Faced with hunger and starvation, Aku gives in to Toje’s morbid sexual request much against her own convictions. In the same vein, the sub-plot of Festus Iyayi’s novel, Violence recounts how Adisa, Idemudia’s wife succumbs to Obofun’s sexual demands in order to raise money to pay her husband’s hospital bills. Her immoral act becomes inconsequential as the hospital bill is paid by her husband’s friends Osaro and Omoifo by the time she arrives at the hospital with the filthy lucre.
The above literary scenario captures the depravity that resides in the crevices of a man’s heart and the depth of sexual immorality which contemporary society is immersed. Sex, that singular act between male and female species for the purpose of procreation, for intimacy and affection has become the most perverted of all human indulgencies. Some cultures and religion only permit sex in a conjugal union where its sacredness is upheld and protected. Unfortunately, sex has become the most abused and debauched of all bodily activities erroneously believed to assuage man’s brittle impulses and ego. Its channel of abuse includes prostitution, rape, bestiality, sodomy and other forms of decadence.
The female folks among us, sisters, daughters, cousins and nieces are always at the receiving end of sexual entreaty. On daily basis, women are humiliated by their irreverent and morally debased male counterparts who insist on having sex with them before one favour or another is granted. In our country, there are documented incidents of sexual abuse and regrettably most culpable men are highly placed in the society. These are men who command our respect in the open but are innate sexual predators and incarnates of the devil in private. Often, social values have been compromised through sexual immorality perpetuated by men who are convulsed by a grisly craving for the female anatomy.
Recently, reports trended on social media narrating how a lecturer in a first generation university allegedly asked a female student to have sex with him in order to have her grades upgraded from 33 to 40 which is the accepted pass mark. Nigerians were aghast at this level of immorality especially coming from a university lecturer who ought to be a moral compass for students. More so, it reveals the kind of vulgarity and moral decay that take place in our higher institutions where marks are given in exchange for sex in which case, half baked, empty graduates are produced. Few lecturers who indulge in this dastardly act have brought the noble, exalted, academic profession to disrepute. Shamefully, these manic lecturers can keep a female student in school as long as she insists to protect the sanctity of her womanhood. Some female students have graduated from universities with lower class of degrees because they refused to submit their bodies to a libidinous, randy lecturer. Instead of a first class, they graduate with a second class upper, instead of a second class upper, they graduate with a second class lower and so on and so forth. As I write this piece, an unknown female student somewhere is yet to graduate because a lascivious lecturer is sitting on her results pending when she submits her body for sexual romp. In this way, the monster subsists and our higher institutions continue to wallow in a labyrinth of sexual immorality.
Sex exchange pervades the entire strata of our society, not only within the corridors of our higher institutions. The female folks are molested as they grapple with the challenges of survival in their daily engagements. Many women are confronted with sex exchange before they are employed. Many are also keeping their jobs today owing to a regular sexual relationship with their bosses. Any day they refuse to keep to the terms of their employment, pronto, they lose their jobs. Faced with economic pressure and a desperate need for survival, these women play by the rules of this despicable act.
Our society is caught in the throes of sexual immorality as the sex exchange continues to define our daily engagements. For a female marketing executive in a bank to get customers, sex must be involved. For an aspiring actress to get a role in Nollywood, sex is the answer. In the corporate world, in the military, the police, civil service and other government and non-government establishments, the female folks are inundated with request for sex before a promotion can take place. Thus excellence is sacrificed at the putrescent altar of sexual immorality.
However, the male folks have argued that some women are empty; they have nothing to offer except sex. These men recount how they have been harassed and titillated by the female folks who practically offer themselves on a platter in exchange for an opportunity they do not merit. There are some women today who have advanced in their careers ridding at the back of sexual immorality. These women, married or single can have sex with anybody at anytime to get what they want. They use their bodies to hoodwink, seduce and compromise vulnerable, highly placed men with philandering obsession. In fact, many men today have been ruined because they allowed themselves to become captives by the seductive entrapment of a morally deficit, strange woman.
If our society continue to desecrate the sacred gift of sex in exchange for petty favours, if men and women continue to advance the frontiers of sexual immorality through unholy exchange, if the powers that be do not rise quickly to stem the tide of this vice, then our polity will degenerate into a seismic decay that will rob off on all aspects of our national lives.
• Adiele is of the Department of English, University of Lagos.
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