No #1 News site in Nigeria

Reflecting on Fr. Edeh’s virginity thesis

Fr Emmanuel Edeh | Image: Google

Reflecting on Fr. Edeh’s virginity thesis

Why is it that virginity is always associated with women in our customs? There is no equivalent term for a virgin man

By Valentine Obienyem

A few days ago, during the 25th anniversary of Madonna University, the Chancellor, Fr. Emmanuel Edeh, made remarks about virginity in the school.

Whenever virginity is mentioned, it immediately brings to mind the gender disparities in our society and the historical exploitation of women. Why is it that virginity is always associated with women in our customs? There is no equivalent term for a virgin man.

This aside, the reference to virginity by Fr. Edeh has sparked widespread discussion. What is it about sex and related topics that incite such heated debates? Why should we be concerned if students who entered Madonna as virgins graduate as virgins?

I have previously stated that sex and its associates rank high in the hierarchy of desires. Once basic needs like food and shelter are met, man spares time and money in pursuit of sexual pleasure.

This is a societal problem, affecting both humans and animals. Have you ever seen lions fight to the death over territory? It’s not the territory itself that intrigues the lion, but the prospect of having exclusive access to females.

Modern civilization has exacerbated this problem by irresponsibly stimulating the sexual impulse, leading to increasingly immoral behavior. 

Also read: Why we oppose Pope Francis on same-sex marriage, by Lagos, Abeokuta Catholic bishops

Our fathers would have pretended not to hear what Fr. Edeh said. Not any more! Many individuals now see no issue with using their bodies to earn money, and there are few moral restraints  on desire.

While our ancestors downplayed this issue, the current generation has magnified it through various forms of stimulation, advertising, emphasis, and display, promoting the dangerous notion that inhibition is harmful, whereas restraint – the control of impulses – is a hallmark of decency.

In the past, many of our mothers married as virgins. Today, however, youths driven by hormones may question why they should restrain their sexual desires. Instead of valuing purity, they boast about their sexual conquests and shamefully talk about “ body count.” 

Numerous terms have been coined to describe various forms of sexual deviance.

Fr. Edeh, perhaps, owing to his age and vocation as a Catholic priest, belongs to an older school of thought. He understands that unchecked youth, devoid of customs, morals, or laws, may ruin their lives before realizing that sex, if not restrained, could lead to chaos for both individuals and society.

I understand that in his schools, students have limited freedom to leave campus, reducing opportunities for sexual escapades.  Is it right? This is a subject for another day.

With the confidence of someone who has exercised restraint, he made his statement. However, given current societal trends, what he seeks to prevent may still occur in his school without his awareness.

Nevertheless, considering the nature of his school and the constraints in place, Fr. Edeh is justified in making his statement. It’s akin to discussing the Catholic Church, which provides numerous avenues for spiritual growth.

 Despite this, many fail to take advantage of these opportunities. In the end, should the blame fall on the Church or the faithful?

I stand with Fr. Edeh and find it troubling that many are attempting to discredit his statement. To illustrate the prevailing mindset, Bidemi Edwards came forward to admit that she did not graduate as a virgin, implying that even the most devout societies have their deviants.

Verificationist among us are currently working on Fr. Edeh’s statement.

.Obienyem, a lawyer and public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.

Related articles

Arrow Strike