Sex education in India seems like a far-fetched idea. In our “culturally rich” country, talking about sex is always considered to be shameful and disgusting. It’s taboo to talk about sex in public or in the family openly. In schools, the chapter on the “human reproduction process” is taught by teachers in a way as if they are doing any crime. They hesitate to use words related to male and female sex organs like – Vagina and Penis. They feel shy to teach students about condoms and sexually transmitted diseases. Parents sitting with their children start feeling embarrassed when an advertisement for a condom appears on TV or when a sex scene comes in a film.
The day-to-day increase in cases of rapes, molestation, sexual violation, child abuse, gender inequality, teen pregnancies, and HIV are all the results of the absence of sex education in India. India is a country with the third-highest no. of HIV-positive cases. It has 2.1 million people living with HIV. Also, 70% of the prostitutes are HIV positive. Why? Because using condoms is still not considered important.
According to a report, 11 percent of the world’s teenage pregnancies happen in India. There is a lack of menstrual-related knowledge amongst teenagers. In a survey by Everteen, it was found that during adolescence; approx. 60 percent of women didn’t have any prior knowledge about menstrual periods. In fact, 38 percent of women had first misinterpreted menstruation as an injury or disease. All these reports and data depict that how badly our country needs sex education.
A Sex Education Curriculum is Required!
Our country is the place where the Kama sutra originated and where Shivlings (lings=male reproductive part) are worshipped. But still “sex” is a topic not to be discussed in the open. We need a comprehensive sex education curriculum that will help students learn about every aspect of sex.
The curriculum should include all the information related to sex and sexuality like puberty, menstruation, contraceptives, condoms, sexual violence, and its prevention, sexual orientation, gender identity, and body image. Children should be taught from their early days about the “bad touch” and “good touch”. Although, it’s not like our Government hasn’t tried to introduce sex education programs earlier.
In 2007, the Indian government initiated Adolescent Education Program (AEP). However, it got banned in several states due to protests, citing that the program’s content was ‘inappropriate’. Though the program covered no. of sensitive issues it left out the most important point of negotiation and consent required in intimate relationships.
The Netherlands is a country that India can look up to as an example. It has one of the most comprehensive sex education curriculums that start in the kindergarten itself. The curriculum includes the biology of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual pleasure, and consent. As a result of this curriculum, the Netherlands has one of the lowest cases of gender and sexual violence and also teen pregnancies.
How Sex Education In India Will Help?
Sex education-related curriculum will help young minds of teenagers in many ways. It will increase their knowledge about sex and will improve their attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviors. They will be properly educated about all the important information related to sexual activities and issues. Eventually, it will change their values, attitudes, and beliefs towards sex.
The introduction of sex education in India will help all (adults, teenagers &children) to not further consider it a taboo and will surely help in the reduction of sexual-related crimes, issues, diseases, and discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
ALSO, READ: Gender-Based Violence Is Everyone’s Problem!