Rewiring the moral compass of boys the Correctional Center
Last Saturday, I volunteered under WeLead and trained the boys at the correctional center Orgeun with @LoloTalksInc My Body Is Mine Syllabus. We focused on health vs unhealthy relationships and how gender stereotypes can lead to abuse in relationships.
During the course of the class, I asked the boys what they would do if they had a friend who beats up his girlfriend.
Some of the boys said they would talk to the both of them to stop fighting; but because I like to call out blind spots, I ask them – Are the fighting or is he beating her?
The class went silent and they replied he’s beating her. Then a boy replied “ehn! It depends on how close we are sha! If na my guy, I will just talk to him to stop and if he doesn’t stop, I will remove my hand”
A boy probably age 15 replied, if the girl did something wrong, then she deserves the beating but if she didn’t do anything, I will hold my friend.
We moved to the discussion of young boys under pressure due to stereotypes to provide that they find themselves doing yahoo.
Before I finished, a boy not up to 15 raised his hand “Ma that yahoo one you talk about, me I don’t see anything wrong in it o! All na hustle!
The whole class cheered, and then another boy says “True! Because even the people they want to scam wanted to chop free money”
I had to call out the blind spots in their analysis and as I did, I could see them introspecting – a certain level of cognitive dissonance. Nobody had ever challenged their thoughts or made them think about yahoo or domestic violence from a different light.
These are children who have their moral compass facing a different direction not because they are inherently evil and lack empathy but because of how their environment and experiences shaped them.
It can be very easy to ridicule or judge them but they simply need positive modeling nurturing in order to reach their fullest potential and also become decent human beings in our society.