Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is Sex Education a Necessary Evil of India?

…..Savita bhabhi represents blasphemy against our culture, Flying Machine’s ad is vulgar and Valentine’s Day corrupts our youth!

Such rhetoric has been mouthed time and again by those who have been voted in power by our junta to create a better future of us. The reality however is quite sad.

In India sex is prerogative of only married people and that too in the privacy of their homes. No I am not talking about the act per se, but about discussions, education and learning about it, which is so vital for every individual’s healthy existence.

Those who whine saying that Indian youth is getting corrupted with overdose of vulgarity and obscenity through movies and advertisements forget that such a phenomenon is the culmination of age old taboo associated with sex in our country. Right from the childhood our kids are tutored to turn blind and deaf to anything which is even remotely linked to this topic. We are brought up in an environment where we are expected to fathom this art automatically when we get married. Ask how and pat comes the reply “It’s natural”. They forget that we no longer live in the age of Ramayan and Mahabharat where magical touch and some blessings could impregnate a woman. Parents think it is not their responsibility and schools think it is not theirs. In such a situation it is but natural for a child to get titillated by the slightest exposure which he/she gets through the entertainment channels.

Even though we have moved into the 21st century we are still stuck with the rules, rituals and mentalities of the dinosaur’s era. A certain level of progression in the expression of love and acceptance of sex has to happen in a mature society. We cannot expect our nation to be free from clutches of prostitution, teenage pregnancies, child trafficking and sexually transmitted diseases when we refrain our youth from knowing anything about it. A land where even hand holding (yes! even by husband and wife) is frowned upon and looked down with suspicion needs to learn to be more tolerant and more receptive. Many argue that imparting sex education at the school level would make our kids promiscuous and encourage them to explore the unknown and in doing so the same people overlook the bigger picture of the entire scenario. Then there are also those who feel sex education is another aspect where we are trying to emulate the west.

In this age TVs and internet have mega influence on the way we think and behave and hence the need to channelize our learning is even more important. These mediums of entertainment provide lot of resources on such topics but most often these are half baked information as teenagers and kids choose to read what they like. If only they could be taught about the why, how and when about their bodies at the right age that they would transform into responsible people with sexual awareness.

If cultural pandits and political leaders shy away from understanding the role of sex education in trouncing sex related woes then our country would continue to be plagued by disasters. The idea is not to follow the western countries in how they are imparting the sex education but to take a leaf out of their book and understand their paradigm and develop a prototype suiting our ethos. Leaving our kids at the crossroads of adolescence, with no idea about sex, is quite dangerous as it can lead them towards the path of misadventures. This is where schools can play a pivotal role and provide a platform for sex education minus the hype surrounding it. Decisions taken by an informed mind are often more logical and sound than the ignorant and confused mind.

Just like Physics, Chemistry and History, sex education can also be tailored into a subject and introduced from certain grades into the schools. Of course being a new domain a lot of sensitivity and cooperation would be required from teachers and parents which would help in making this endeavor successful. However before we preach our kids we need to walk the talk ourselves and stop considering sex as the subject of condemnation and approach it more pragmatically. Let us empower our youth with education today for a salubrious tomorrow, after all “child is the father of the man”.

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