Can Sex Education in School impact child abuse and rapes in India? What Social Influencers say!
“Sex” is seen as social taboo in India. Most Indians avoid talking about Sex in open, despite of the fact that India has a population of 1.27 Billion, 62 pregnant teens / 1000 women (higher than UK & US), 93 women raped every single day and rapes on minors, an everyday incident. Where is all this leading? We are fastened in the shackles of the so called Cultural Hindrances. Either that or we have missed the train to mental evolution!! Because, nothing can better explain the rejection of Adolescent Education Program by State Government & School authorities.
We live in a society where discussing about Safe Sex, Good touch & Bad touch with Kids is looked upon as Western influence and raises eye-brows. With majority of conservative parents ignoring their kid’s sexual dilemmas, and schools/government refraining from Sex Education, we are leaving our Kid’s to learn about Sex through Movies, Media and Internet. Is this the kind of Sex Education India wants to give to its future Youth? Would closing our eyes shut to these topics actually sort out all issues? “Sex Education in Schools” raises dual responses in Society. While there are people who are in favour, many want a tweaked version of Sex Education (where in words like “Sexual Intercourse” are removed!) whereas there are some (read Netas and Babus of parliament) who blatantly deny the need of Sex Education citing it promotes Promiscuity and is against our Indian Culture!! (???)
Let’s hear what our Social Media Influencers (who have a say on all burning issues) have to say about this sensitive topic. I took a small survey amongst the top Media Influencers on my Time line (these are people from different walks of life who are opinionated! People who have kids! People like you and me! ) I asked them a simple question, “How Important is Sex Education in School? Will it play a role in preventing Child abuse/rapes in India?” Look what interesting points have unravelled!
“Denying children sex education is one of the more heinous crimes adults can do. The root of a lot of our social ills is the lack of sex education – not just in terms of biological knowledge – but also the lack of understanding the rights and responsibilities that are involved with sex. Girls need to be taught that they have a right to say NO. They need to know that there’s nothing inauspicious or shameful about having periods. Boys need to know that rape is a crime and they can go to jail for it. Both sexes need to be taught that being touched in a certain way by adults is inappropriate, and what they should do if it ever happens to them. Both sexes also need to learn about birth control.
Let’s face it – as a country we may act all prudish – but we haven’t become a country of 1.3 billion by practicing prudery. My only consolation is that the kids will learn anyway via the internet – no matter how much the old fools try to censor their education. This move by the education boards only makes the education system less respected and less relevant than ever before.” – says One of the major Social Influencers and CEO of India’s leading Digital Media Company Pinstorm, Mahesh Murthy.
When asked Purba Ray, a contributor to TOI Articles, whose blog was awarded best humour blog by Indiblogger & Blogadda, short story published in Mango Chutney, describes herself as Mother, Fretter & Feminist says, “We may go blue in our faces denying that sex exists, but the truth is, our current crop has access to more information about sex than we ever did. But what they read and browse on the net is far from the correct picture. Do we want our kids to think that most homemakers are bored nymphos ready to pounce on any salesman that knocks on their door? Isn’t it time we told them that sex is not someone’s depraved fantasy being played out to titillate? If our education system refuses to tread this tricky terrain, it becomes our duty as parents to remove all taboos associated with sex. Talk about it instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist. What our children really need is our understanding that the so called unclean thoughts that torment their minds are perfectly normal. Hey kid, it’s okay to desire someone. Let me tell you, sex is not dirty, some people are. Sex-education doesn’t titillate but misinformation and the shroud of secrecy around it does. In fact, when delivered right, it empowers our young to make the right choices.”
“To sweep under the carpet, all talk about sex and sex education is counter-productive to a State or Nation which endeavours to be constantly developing. Young minds are easily moulded and influenced by the attitudes and actions of their elders and one must NOT teach them that sex is wrong or dirty. Instead, they must be taught about the values of respecting not only their own body but those of others as well. The lack of proper sex education in schools at all levels have in fact, been the root cause of many sexual crimes in society. For a healthy society at large, sex education is of prime importance and it is only when we talk about it openly and freely that it will stop being considered an evil, veiled in secrecy in sin.” says Lifestyle Blogger, Ranjit Rodricks.
“I think Sex education is an integral part of schooling and it not only helps prevent abuse/rapes but also prepares the victims on how to deal with such situations. I think it’s ridiculous to ban sex education in schools coz a lot of parents are not comfortable with talking to their kids about sex and abuse. A lot of adolescents are victims of abuse and rape for years and very often they are made to believe that it’s their fault. Many of them are scared to report the crime coz a family member is involved or coz the girl or boy is afraid that he/she will be ostracised from the society. The only way to change all this and raise awareness is through sex education so I am definitely in favour of it.” Says popular Vlogger, Model, owner of Fashionalized and Anaita Adjania’s sister, Sherezade Shroff.
I would say, I couldn’t agree more, however we have varied opinions on the topic one of which is “I think the word sex education is a very sensitive subject. And maximum parents are not agreeing to teach this in schools. Not a teacher, a health educator should be appointed in all schools for this specific education” says Jyotsna Khatri who works at Watershed Projects of Forest Department & is a Teacher Educator with MA (Eco) MA (Socio) M.Ed.
Yudhi Raman – Author “The Tentalus Redemption” – @yudhiraman – fully support the role of SE as an important tool in preventing rapa and abuse. IT should however go beyong the mere mechanics and also include relationships, respect for partners and minors, educate minors how to identify and report inappropriate touch etc.
While we were discussing this topic there were many others who opined a little different, one of Twitter enthusiast said, “As long as porn is freely available on all kinds of media, rapes & abuse will go on despite best sex Ed programmes” I personally believe banning of porn is not going to help much, Awareness exceeds abstinence is what I opine, but to each his/her own.
Coming to a conclusion, Most of us believe that a proper Sex Education to Kids in their young age can inculcate awareness not only about various health related issues but also prepares them to deal with abusive behaviour and their sexual curiosities in a safe way. However, our government is still elusive of important aspect that may majorly reduce teenage pregnancies, child abuses & rapes on minors.
With this article, I aim to spread awareness about the need of proper Sex Education program. Remember Sex Education is not restricted to schools, but also encompasses everyday discussions amongst kids & parents. Parents Beware! If you are not answering your kids, it only means he/she is going to get his/her answers from somewhere else! We all know information on SEX is now just one click away!! You gotta be smart to tackle the smart youth of today! 😉
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