#Sex: Why Is Sex Education Still Not A Priority In India’s New, Reformed Education System? It Is The Need Of The Hour
When I was in school, we got sex education as late as the end of 9th grade and another session in 10th grade. Honestly, until the sex ed session I literally had no idea how sex happened. I knew of the existence of penises but I didn’t really know of its function. Meanwhile, I remember feeling confused about the changes in my own body. So while several girls in the session were giggling at the visuals and feeling shy, I was taking mental notes like I had to write an exam on it. Yeah, I was quite a nerd. However, everything was purely biological and had nothing to do with other important aspects such as consent, respect, sexual attitudes, etc. None of us were taught that sex went beyond penises and vaginas. It was explained in such a physical context that we can almost forget that a whole person with feelings and emotions is attached to all that appendage.
Several friends of mine never received any sex ed and I really don’t know what their first run-in with sex was like. Several teens are forced to turn to porn and word of mouth when it comes to sex. And we know, none of these sources are good enough. Recently, India’s education system witnessed a complete makeover and garnered applause for making learning more conducive to growth and psychological wellbeing. But while we were at making educational reforms, did it not strike anyone in the committee to finally address the need for including sex ed? After all that we’ve witnessed in recent times, it is not a subject we can push down to the bottom of the pipeline.
India has the largest adolescent population in the world which means that if we educate this bunch right now, we could be creating a huge group of people that know what sex should mean. We can fix attitudes towards consent and boundaries as well as reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. A decade or two down the line, India’s head won’t hang with shame at the high number of rape and other sexual abuse cases. It’s all we dream of, right? But all this is not possible if we pretend like teenagers are not sexual beings and won’t turn to shady means of discovering sex.
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India’s Denial Of Sexuality
A report titled, ‘Adolescent sex education in India: Current perspectives’ reads, “Sex education at school level has attracted strong objections and apprehension from all areas of the society, including parents, teachers, and politicians, with its provision banned in six states which include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Karnataka. Legislators contend that it corrupts the youth and offends “Indian values,” leading to promiscuity, experimentation, and irresponsible sexual behavior. Some opponents argue that sex education has no place in a country such as India with its rich cultural traditions and ethos.”
Bois Locker Room And The Need To Prioritise Sex Education
Didn’t we learn nothing from the Bois Locker Room case? The traditionalists pretend to be psychiatrists and mental health experts, confidently claiming what sex education can do to pollute young minds, turns out it’s quite the opposite. Leave the job to the experts. In this case, several young boys gathered virtually in a group to share nudes of girls and objectify them to satiate their sexual desires. The only source these guys have is porn and it doesn’t teach consent. Especially after growing up in a culture that’s largely misogynistic, sex education is even more relevant in India.
It is also peer pressure that makes several young guys to be a part of such groups and dissect a woman’s body with their filthy eyes and conversations. Why? Because apparently, that’s a sign of machismo for them. “Adolescents find themselves at a vulnerable stage of their lives where influences of peer pressure can be conducive to socially unacceptable and perhaps even criminal group behavior. The rapidly emerging rape culture among youth needs to be addressed and stopped at the earliest possible instance,” the study points out.
We need to understand that most sexual offenders have underlying psychosocial issues that can be addressed right in the start with sex ed. “This requires concentrated efforts not only from institutions and organizations, but also from individuals as members of that society, as sexual offenders often have mental health and psychosocial risk factors that incite, maintain, and perpetuate the offence. This can be achieved through education about sex and drugs and teaching the use of ethical and moral principles to govern their actions, in order to discourage ambiguity and the development of careless, unhealthy, and potentially dangerous attitudes,” the study explains.
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According to a survey, 70% of the participants reported that they wished they received more information from their parents about developing romantic relationships. The rates of sexual assault amongst young people are also high, and yet most of it goes untalked about. 76% of the survey participants reported that their parents never talked to them about how to avoid sexually harassing someone. Sex education and the importance of respecting boundaries aren’t things that are magically and innately understood. Having these conversations, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, is important if we care about developing healthy relationships. . . #askUNX . . #sexeducationmatters #sexeducationindia #parenteducation #familyrelationships #ineedhelp4health #mentalhealthhelp #learningstage #india_ig #bangaloremodel #mentalhealthbangalore #bangalorecoach #holisticliving #helpneeded #tipsoflife #lifegoals #missioni #imonamission #lifedevelopment #characterbuilding #youdoyougirl #youdoyou
The role of parents in sex education
It’s not like we can just ship our kids off to school and hope they return with well-placed sexual attitudes and behaviours. A child learns what it sees happening at home. The gender bias, the inherent misogyny in our culture deeply impacts the psyche of children as they grow up to see women as inferior beings. Meanwhile, parents too need to have open communication with their children to break the taboo around sex. “With studies showing that the majority of parents do not accept the responsibility for providing sex education, with 88% of the male and 58% of the female students in colleges in Mumbai reporting that they had received no sex education from parents. They were left to resort to information they gather from books, magazines, youth counselors, and through pornography, with its increasing accessibility in recent times. Those exposed to sexually implicit content on the television and internet is more likely to initiate early/premarital sex, which comes with a host of negative implications which they often find themselves unequipped to deal with. This applies to a quarter of India’s young people who indulge in premarital sex,” the same study explains.
ALSO READ: A Nurse Recounts An Incident Before The Internet When A Married Couple Didn’t Know They Need To Have Sex To Reproduce. We Believe It
Finally, we can conclude that sex education can lead to a plethora of benefits including, “a reduction in unplanned and early pregnancies and their associated complications, fewer unwanted children, reduced risks of sexual abuse, greater completion of education and later marriages, reduced recourse to abortion and the consequences of unsafe abortion, and a curb of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.” So, again, why don’t we have sex education – with both biological and psychosocial aspects – in our syllabus?