Did you know that the brain is the number one sex organ in your body? I bet you never thought about it like that, did you? On a serious note, that’s why you really shouldn’t be missing our free Doctors Health Initiative weekly forum (aka the Hot Button Series) on Zoom.
In one of our discussions on fertility awareness based methods, Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu, a natural reproductive health specialist, coined and explained “genito-centricity” and “cerebro-centricity” as the two philosophical divides in the family planning space. While cerebro-centricity espouses the brain as controlling the reproductive function, genito-centricity projects the genitals as being in control. Now, if the genitals have so much power, the sex organs are king and human beings are under subjection of the instinctual powers of eroticism. Clearly, we don’t or can’t have a say. We only act under authority. If our genitals are in charge, we take action without thinking and are exonerated from the consequences. Something doesn’t sound quite right here. That is to say, genito-centricity (genital focus) of human sexuality attempts to make us believe that once the reproductive organs are caged or controlled from the picture (preventing infections, dodging pregnancies) then hooray, humans can literally do anything they want, without repercussions.
Cerebro-centricity (brain-focus) of human sexuality, on the other hand, presents a broader view and if given deep thought, an upper hand in this argument. It does not only assert that reason is superior to action, but painstakingly sheds light on this claim. Cerebro-centricity recognizes that those feelings of admiration or likeness or love between a man and a woman originates from the brain. All the thinking, scheming and actions, which begin and nurture any relationship is controlled by the brain. In addition, in the development of the human person, the brain cells are formed way before the genital organs – the brain cells are formed within twenty five days of fertilization and the genital organs are formed between the second and third months after fertilization. The brain is also saddled with sending off signals to the hormones (follicle stimulating hormones etc) which in turn stimulate the genital organs to produce the secondary sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone. Cerebro-centricity allows for the full expression of sexuality as an innate trait of man. As man is a higher, rational animal, he needs to be fully aware of himself and make decisions through reasoning.
I am in agreement with the good doctor. Family planning realistically should start from a couple sitting down to make decisions based on sensible (brain-led) examination of their circumstances and definitely should not be limited to sidelining our reproductive organs.
As Nigerians are wont to say, ‘use your brain’, doesn’t cerebro-centricity just makes sense?
Ogonna Kanu, a DHI volunteer, writes from Lagos, Nigeria