Before starting this whole talk about sex education…I want you all to read some of these conversations in which I have asked some random parents about their views on ‘Sex Education’ and to be very honest, I didn’t expect this type of answers at all…
Me: What do you think about introducing ‘Sex Education’ in schools?
Random Parent #1:
We would not let that happen…ever…not now, not anytime soon…not ever…ever….ever…
Me: Why is that exactly?
Same Random Parent:
Because we don’t want to teach our children, “You-know-what”, that’s ridiculous! They will learn it slowly on their own.
Me: then what will be the sources from where they will learn?
Random Father: The way we learned. Like in the old movies, the roses used to come together and shake and I was curious about what it meant so I went out and asked my older cousins and they told me the whole thing.
Me: Did they teach you the correct thing about it?
Same random father: what is correct about it? You do it like the way it has been done! But after marriage would be great.
Me: With a heavy heart I have to tell you that the roses have stopped shaking for a long time and children are seeking sex education from different sources, like porn for instance…what do you have to say about that?
Random Parent #2: Porn is a good way to show the whole picture behind ‘You-know-what’, but in due time you will learn about it.
Me: So what if I tell you that porn is objectifying women and is a major influence over sexual crimes.
Random Father #2: I don’t believe this…Porn is a good way to see what’s happening behind that closed door but it cannot be inciting sexual crimes! The data you have is false. Totally wrong!
Me: What is the definition of ‘sex education’ for you?
Random Parent #1: It’s about sex…
Random Parent #2: It’s a very bad thing…I don’t think children should be exposed to this.
Random Parent #3: It’s about teaching sex and how to have safe and protected intercourse with your partner.
Random Parent #4: You are an anti-national.
Random Parent #5: It’s about getting to know your sexuality, age of consent, STDs, and a whole different thing about something that is a natural phenomenon.
So, after taking these whole recorded conversations with some of the random parents I met on the Internet. I have yet to say that Indian parents are #Cool.
But we have come a long way, so, let’s put the roses together and peek behind, ‘यौनशिक्षा’.
I have seen people twitching their facial muscles when they hear the word SEX and they have their own 3 children.
So apart from the fact that they have either adopted those 3 children or are virgins themselves to this day, we can agree on one thing that Indians love sex but hate to talk about it.
First of all, let me be very specific about the fact that sex education DOES NOT teach children how to have sex at an early age. It teaches them about the physiological, social, and biological aspects of leading a healthy sex life in the future.
This encompasses not only the physical act of sex, but also – gender identity, physical changes, consent, awareness about sexual abuse, birth control measures, and prevention of AIDS and STDs.
Whoa…that was easy…But some conservative parents dude…it’s very hard to make them understand about this whole concept of a thing which starts with a very taboo and mysterious word, SEX.
You speak this word aloud in a conversation with your parents in a public place and they disown you at that very instant.
Sex education in India has always been treated as an adult topic and children aren’t needed to learn more about it but in the same country, a shocking 53% of children between the ages of 5 and 12 have been subjected to sexual abuse.
Fifty-three per cent!. That’s more than half.
The culture of silence and shame surrounding sexual issues is the reason why the victims are not able to speak up. Often they don’t even know if they are being sexually abused.
I can help you understand what Sex Education means basically, but unlike some Indians, we need to look at this with an open mind.
We cannot let our children fall into a hapless situation where they would need to “learn slowly over the years of their youth”, regarding their SEXUALITY or, SEX as an intimate relationship or, SEX itself or, practicing safe SEX or, birth control or about the anatomy of their ‘private parts’.
The set of principles that guide us to have sound sexual health and related things which usually begin with the adjective ‘sexual’ are considered as ‘Sex Education’.
It’s vulgar and dirty, but naughty and sexy at the same time to talk about sex as our societal norm goes by.
The natural phenomenon of reproduction, which makes sure that Homo Sapiens do not, by any chance, get extinct.
And reproduction means people have to have SEX.
It is a very natural, exciting, and most common activity performed by literally and figuratively everyone, from any race, caste, gender, or boundaries that divide us into countries etc.
EVERYONE DOES IT.
The activity that is being performed behind a closed-door should be talked about and should be discussed with the younger generations, who will someday be doing that same thing behind the same door or maybe in some OYO room nearby. But that’s not my point.
The biggest misconception of talking about sexuality with teenagers is that it may ruin them and make them more ready to indulge in sex-related activities.
By not teaching them about their sexuality and left untaught about their bodies, leaves them highly vulnerable amid their physiological development.
Our persistence to avoid this talk had resulted in so many issues that have been haunting us for decades now. The issues like teenage pregnancies, the outbreak of AIDS, overpopulation, women’s rights, sexual abuse, and many others that are becoming a serious impediment to our overall progress.
There is a culture of silence between parents and their adolescents in talking about matters related to sexual and reproductive health which needs to be addressed.
The young have limited communication with their parents, especially on sensitive topics like romantic relationships or reproduction.
Findings from the Youth Study indicate that romantic relationships and reproductive processes were rarely discussed with parents – 0% – 2% of young men and 1%–6% of young women in India.
Now let me bore you all with some statistics and figures about what percentage of Indians have comprehensive knowledge about HIV or AIDS and its prevention, and with teary eyes, I have to read you out the data and it’s only 45% young men and 28% young women.
For the rest of 55% men and 72% women, it’s not at all your fault guys…So, Stay Calm and Keep Learning.
Now coming to ‘Teenage Pregnancies’, the sad reality of rural and a bit of urban India is underage marriages, with young girls even below 15 years of age being married off to older men.
This brings about a disproportionate amount of high-risk pregnancies among adolescents with 62% of rural women mothering at least one kid when they have barely turned the corner from childhood themselves.
There are tons of data and research which show that we, as Indians, have to try harder to explain to our children when they ask where do babies come from?
Then you have the moral responsibility to tell them about the real process of how you have coitus with each other and not like some random fairy had placed your child, outside the main door with a note saying ‘Please Keep this Baby!’.
Talk with your children about sex, sexuality, about having safe-sex and all of those points mentioned above.
(P.S. YOUR children! Don’t go explaining about all of this to other’s children because that’s what sexual harassment is and you may end up in Jail!)
Make them understand the differences between a BAD touch and a GOOD touch.
Empower them to say ‘NO’ and following Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘NO MEANS NO’…teach them to state their body’s boundaries to their partners.
If you are not at all serious with this “Conversation on Sex”, then be prepared to answer these questions by Indian people…
Akash Rout is a jolly old fella who writes non-fiction as well as fiction. He is known for his rebellious yet subtle form of satires and humor. An aspiring stand-up comic with a science background. So, give him a break, will you!