Every now and then we hear the tales of how much India has progressed – technologically, politically and economically. No denying that, but what about psychological and cultural progress? When is the country going to absolve the youth in the real sense?
Issues such as the rights of LGBT communities and sex education aren’t just in abeyance, but are conveniently ignored.
Of the two, the latter has held my attention for quite some time now.
Sex. An important institution of life that hasn’t been given the importance it deserves, as well as requires. The whole logical point that states its necessity is dismissed by our parents, teachers and our “eminent” policy makers.
India happens to be the second most populous country in the world, yet even today parents and teachers don’t talk about sex to their children. They shy away. And the ones that do talk about it, shamefacedly slapdash it.
To be honest, I don’t remember having an open discussion or as a matter of fact, any discussion regarding sex with my parents. The only gabble that echos in my head is “Don’t talk to guys”, “Stay away from guys, don’t let them touch you”, “What would people say if they see you out with a guy” and so on. The funny part is, I have studied in a co-ed school my entire school life.
Today, sex is everywhere, be it television, movies or the internet. This directly leads to rise in the level of curiosity. Sex is an intriguing subject anyway. It is the responsibility of authorities – parental and otherwise, to realise that they are supposed to be the guide and present the real picture and not trivialise it in the process.
The government too hasn’t really come forth to bring aid to this issue.
In 2009, a parliamentary committee concluded that sex education was ‘against the ethos of our society and would uproot the cultural values that we’ve cherished since the Vedic Ages’.
Really? Playing the Vedic Age card? *sigh*
However, it did not end there. The committee’s unscrupulous suggestion was that topics like HIV/AIDS and Physical & Mental Development in adolescents shouldn’t be introduced in the syllabus until XII grade. Moreover, even if such topics were introduced, these should be strictly restricted to Biology.
Singing pretty much the same song was Mumbai’s top cop Satyapal Singh, who claimed that ‘sex education would increase the number of rapes’.
The Population Council of National Study on ‘Youth in India’ discovered that out of our total population of over 50,000 youngsters, only 15% had access to information regarding sex from their parents or teachers.
It is to be understood that unrestrained and unguided sex will lead to unhealthy sexual practices. Hence, it’s necessary to enlighten kids about the importance of safe sex, birth control and about the practice of controlling undue sexual urges.
The biggest hindrance in the establishment of a proper system of sex education are the policy makers of the country. All the harangue about decency, discreet mannerism, social ethos and cultural boundaries that they want us to hang onto is definitely not sincere.
Our policy makers continuously nag about the flaws and vulgarity of the proposals sent their way and natter about how “disadvantageous” sex education can be.
The rotten way through which currently sex education classes are taken are:
- Starting the classes usually in 6th grade.
- Conducting separate classes for boys and girls – in order to avoid “awkwardness”.
- Focusing on merely biological aspects and the reproductive system.
- Creating fear regarding indulgence in sex in children’s minds and moulding their perception regarding sex as a process which should be indulged in only after marriage, with the sole intention of producing babies.
- The only topic actually discussed is HIV/Aids and pregnancy. Well, naturally pointing out the downhill and possible negative aftermath is an easy way to get childern to have an aversion towards sex.
Doesn’t this look like something done just for the sake of acting upon? To me, yes.
Dr. Paul Joannides believes “abstinence-only” sex education is the only kind in existence currently. He added, “one should remember that marriage is a cultural creation, whereas, sex is a basic need of a human being.”
Due to the hush-hush approach towards sex, most of the teenagers (10-19 years) learn about the ‘birds and bees’ from movies, literature, internet and porn, leaving an erratic and erroneous impression.
Many a times, porn is the only option chosen as it is the only voice speaking to them. It is the job of the parent to impart the facts to their child. This, however, rarely happens.
The elders don’t want to take an initiative, and if we do they question our morals; how dare we discuss something so “taboo”?
But is sex really taboo? Think again. India is the the land of Kamasutra. The ultimate sex guide, now looked up by the world. Ancient Indian temples have sculptures of bodies and deities tangled in the acts of sex, portraying pleasure.
We’ve kept sex on a pedestal for over 4000 years. So, why the fuss now?
Sex is a part of our existence and no chant of morality or religious belief is going to alter that truth, and ‘ignorance is a bliss’ doesn’t hold true always.
Start talking, be informed. That’s the only solution.