SEX EDUCATION: Why still a Taboo?

Introduction

Sex Education helps people gain knowledge about vast variety of topics related to sex, sexuality, beliefs, misconceptions, and exploring values. Sex Education helps in gaining skills that are needed to manage relationships and understand one’s own sexual health. It assists to guide and instruct issues relating to emotional relations, sexual anatomy, reproduction, reproductive health, reproductive rights, age of consent, , safe sex, birth control, and sexual abstinence. Sex Education also explains about puberty, sexual orientation, gender identity, dating, decision-making, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, sex abuse and pregnancy. Sex Education aids people to gain information and motivates them to make healthy decisions about their sex life and sexuality. Therefore, making awareness towards people regarding sex education, especially children would help them in a longer run.

Sex Education and India

Sex Education is now finally a part of India’s school curriculum. Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out a sex education program in 2018, prior to which sex education was banned in many Indian states. In India sexual intercourse is a topic that is often shown reluctance, considered immoral, and humiliating especially with the elders of the society. People find it shameful and vulgar to openly discuss about this topic. Sex Education was widely opposed by parents as well as teachers. The main obstacle that is hindering the development of sex education is the confusion due to preconceived notions regarding coitus which needs to be tackled as soon as possible. Where in private schools are given independence to take sex education programmes, many schools hesitate to get involved. While in public schools, limited knowledge is provided to the children. Not only schools but even Colleges show their disinclination towards sex education. Importantly parents refrain their children from having any knowledge about sex and sexual health. Political parties, society, and culture are playing their respective roles in ceasing sex education. 

Why is Sex Education a necessity?

  1. In India, more than 4 million people are estimated to be infected with HIV/AIDS. Unprotected sexual practice is the major reason for this cause. The population of India, especially the people belonging to middle class, lower class and backward classes need to be educated about HIV/AIDS, other STD’s, their symptoms and causes. 
  2. Adolescence is the transitional phase of development and growth between childhood and adulthood. WHO defines ‘Adolescents’ as individuals in the 10-19 years of age group. India has largest adolescent population. Wherein this is the age where children are more likely to engage and experiment the risky behaviors that have the potential to influence the quality of health, lifestyle, and survival. The concern for issues such as early pregnancy, unsafe abortions, STI’s including HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, and violence arises. Therefore, an effort needs to be made in order to educate the adolescents about their sexual health, menstruation, masturbation, nocturnal emissions, healthy and safe sexual practices, as well as age of consent. 
  3. As the evil issues of rape, kidnapping, harassment, and sexual abuse is increasing day by day children need to have knowledge about good touch, bad touch, and body parts. 
  4. Due to lack of sexual awareness, kids are not able to openly judge and discuss if they are harassed or if they feel some kind of discomfort. They refrain from discussing any such issues with their parents because of parochial mindset & social prejudice.
  5. In todays era, pornography is also a huge matter of concern. Pornography hugely dominates people’s knowledge about sex. Porn scenes are hyper-stimulating triggers that leads to unnatural high levels of dopamine secretion which can damage the dopamine reward system. Porn can be addicting to the extent of erectile dysfunction. Generally porn is very popular among the teenagers. Surveys showed that 70% of students had watched porn from the age of 10 years. Pornography is a means of exposing children & teenagers to sex & violence mainstream at an early age. Porn can affect the psychology, health & perspective of children. It causes problematic sexual behaviors including addiction, which may in future lead to crimes like rapes & sexual harassment.

Benefits of Sex Education

  1. Sex education can improve academic success, delay sexual initiation, reduce unplanned pregnancy, prevent dating violence and help youth develop healthier relationship.
  2. It can help people to take precautions regarding HIV/AIDS & other STI’s, where in also motivate them to reject unprotected sexual practices.
  3. Sex education may reduce sexual health disparities among LGBTQ youth.
  4. Sex education is designed to help young people to make healthy decisions about their sex lives.
  5. Sex education can help teenagers to understand themselves biologically, which may help them to prepare in order to face the world so that they do not fall victim to sexual predators.
  6. Providing sex education is a great step towards empowerment against sexual violence.
  7. Through the means of sex education, concept regarding coitus, reproduction & reproductive health can be explained.
  8. It helps people make better & safe sexual choices.
  9. Sex education may even empower children & young people to realize respectful social & sexual relationships, free consent, well being & dignity as well as gender equality.
  10. Sex education can generate a sense of responsibility in people towards the relationships, empathy, reciprocity & safety.
  11. Sex education helps people in improvising their attitudes related to sexual & reproductive health & behavior.
  12. Sex Education may even result in decline of violence, gender-based violence, sexual abuse, harmful practices, and coercion. 

Conclusion

Today very few young people report receiving any formal sex education. Taking an initiative regarding educating people about sex and sexual health is a necessity of recent times. Sex Education is a sensitive topic and it needs to be openly emphasized. Parents during the initial stage should consciously discuss about it with their children and create an environment for them to confer about their doubts and thoughts. Where in schools and colleges must take initiative to organize programmes for sex education and sexual health awareness. In the era of modernization, we still lack in prompting such important issues. Educating people about sex, sexual health, safe sexual practices, need of sex education and benefits for the same is essential. Changing people’s preconceived notions is not easy, which is acceptable but avoiding such indispensable affair is of no help. It is important to emphasize and promote sex education for betterment of the future generations. It is the need of the hour and cannot be taken for granted. 

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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