Late last year, ‘Sex for grades’ – an age-old phenomenon of giving or receiving sex-related acts in return for academic (and other) favours, which was not discussed in the public domain – featured in almost every public and private discourse bordering on education and even employment after a documentary by the BBC on the subject.
One perspective largely dominated during these conversations: teachers/lecturers (and those in positions of authority) are to be held responsible for this act of victimization. Yet, indirectly, some wondered why students should not be partly blamed for this aversion as their indecent comments and dressing are a bait.
However, everyone agreed (or agrees) that this act of sexual violence has prevented most students (who are the ultimate victims) from attaining their maximum intellectual, emotional and educational potential.
My perspective: so-called modernization has rapidly watered down our indigenous norms and values such that the new normal is indiscipline on every front. We are at this level primarily because initiators (mostly teachers and rarely students) of this act fail to control their desires of, on one hand, having sex at their beck and call and, on the other, graduating with a good class. Of course, in this equation, teachers are the ones wielding the authority but let us be wary of near nudity on our various campuses, for it has the potential to lure.
In the documentary, our attention is heavily drawn to subtle acts which we may easily dismiss but are worth paying attention to as they can degenerate into explicit acts of sex for grades. These include inappropriate physical touches or demand thereof, lewd comments and direct/indirect dislike for persons perceived to be non-conformists.
Even us we are hoping the situation ends quickly for the sake of especially the victims who lose so much, the question that lurks around every bend is, can sex for grades ever end?
>>>The writer is a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism