The term ‘Sugar Daddy’ can be a fancy and adorable expression for many, but its literal meaning is quite wickedly contrary to it. This slang expression depicting to a wealthy, usually older man (“sugar daddies”) who gives expensive gifts (or financial assistance) to a much younger female (“sugar babies”) in return for companionship or sexual favors, thus mutually benefiting both the parties. Often the young women are in a difficult financial situation such as paying school fees, cell phone airtime or even the rent that leaves them vulnerable. Other times they are aspirational, seeking luxuries beyond what they can afford like “trendy clothing, cell phones, hairstyles.
Much discussions have been pursued regarding this slang culture which simulates the progressiveness tendency of our society, but in actuality this tide has been one of the biggest stigmas in today’s society. Many young women (mostly pursuing education or simply luxury) have been benefiting from being the sugar babies for rich and wealthy older man who in return exploit them sexually, thus ruining the fundamental goodness of human beings and society at large. Sugar babies find this culture an easy way out to fulfill all their dreams.
Most developed economies, who have been highly prone to the ‘sugar daddy’ concept, are South Africa, US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia etc, consisting of huge number of rich businessmen & politicians, who usually like to pleasure themselves with such an open-minded and hypocritical culture.
The Detrimental Effects of the ‘Sugar Daddy’ Trend on our Society
This type of culture, though being pursued by the older men just for the sake of personal pleasure or by the younger women so as to fulfill their needs or desires, has many adverse effects on our society as a whole.
According to many experts, ‘sugar baby’ concept is just same as prostitution with a slight twist in recent times. Though this profession looks very lucrative on the outside, there are most chances that the sugar babies experience (almost always) serious emotional problems out of these relationships. In fact, the consequences are nearly exactly the same as those for prostitution.
Apart from the emotional aspect, the physical intimacy which includes in this type of culture is mainly, unprotected sex, thus inviting all types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS.
South Africa, The Biggest Victim of ‘Sugar Daddy’ Culture
The entire African continent has been the biggest victim of this sugar daddy culture in the light of the high rate of HIV infection among young women, thus adding a worrying new dimension to the problem.
Among all the African countries and the whole world, South Africa alone has almost seven million people live with HIV – and older men (blessers) are thought to be much to blame for the shockingly high rate of infections among teenage girls and young women.
Just recently the SA Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi’ released the statistics of HIV prevalence in schoolgirls. It’s a whopping 12.7% compared to 4% of schoolboys. Some of these girls are as young as 10.
According to the minister this means young girls are not sleeping with young boys — they are sleeping with older men. He went as far as to say that “we must take a stand against sugar daddies because they are destroying our children”.
He also revealed that 94 000 schoolgirls fell pregnant in South Africa in 2011, with about 77 000 having abortions at public facilities.
These statistics have been retrieved from the cases which have been officially reported. A lot more go unreported, the latest being the leaked personal emails of the Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa which has revealed his ‘sugar daddy’ demeanour having blessed almost 100 young women but only 8 of females’ identity have been revealed so far.
This culture has grown as an incest in South Africa engulfing many of the young women in its clutches.
Quoting a typical case scenario in South Africa:
Last year a new Facebook page cropped up entitled “BlesserFinder Mzansi”. The page categorises itself as ‘Travel/Leisure’ and serves as a matchmaking site for male or female blessers looking for a ‘blessee’.
Here is a typical post from a blesser:
This is just one of many blesser finders and matchmaking services in South Africa.
In April a website set up for people to register their profiles crashed due to high traffic volumes.
The term “blesser” in South Africa, has therefore become synonymous with someone who blesses a partner with money and gifts. The Blesser is perhaps similar in many ways to the traditional sugar daddy.
Apart from this, the particular trend has also intensified the inflow of foreign tourists in South Africa manifold, thus adversely affecting the tourism aura of such a beautiful nation.
In A Nutshell
Consolidating all the scenarios about this demeaning culture, it is easily a thorough stigma for any society to bear, and should be legally dealt with. World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to take appropriate measures on this in near future.
In the midst of today’s feminist culture, it is imperative that young girls (prospect sugar babies) should never feel that the sugar daddy culture is their only choice.