SEX Education: The ABCD.. We Need More Ways To Learn.
The belief that sex education goes against Indian culture is not new. Despite all the movements society has made towards acceptance and open-mindedness, sex education remains a matter to be discussed behind closed doors; matters around intimacy, relationships and an individual’s sexual identity, all being collectively tagged as “inappropriate”, especially for children.
A famous example of this is the Adolescent Education Programme (AEP), developed by the Union Education Ministry in 2005, which was dismissed by a Rajya Sabha Committee as being “a cleverly used euphemism whose real objective was to impart sex education in schools and promote promiscuity.”
Today, we’d like to put spotlight on the implications of this shielding in the name of culture. Didn’t the same culture come up with the Kamasutra? If it wouldn’t be normal, would we all not stop?
At the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), it was collectively decided that comprehensive education on sexuality was necessary for adolescents to make informed decisions regarding their sexuality and reproduction.
With a shocking 53% of children between the ages of 5 and 12 having been sexually abused during their lifetime and 34% of HIV-infected persons belonging to the 12 to 19 year-old age group, the need for adequate sex education is dire to say the least.
Countries that implemented sex education programs have the results to show for it. The Netherlands and Denmark, for example, now use picture books and classroom discussions to teach children lessons on reproduction, sexuality, intercourse and STDs. Countries that didn’t, however, continue to suffer. On the other hand, In India, there is still a ban on the Adolescence Education Programme in at least five states across India, with no uniform way of approaching the subject. Private schools are left free to choose whether to include sex education in their curricula, with only a minority choosing to do so. In direct correlation, sex crimes and diseases continue rising.
There are many ways in which we all can contribute to providing sex education- it starts at home with parents, trusted elder peers, use of credible media, trusted medical doctors and teachers are some important source of reliable sex education. Let’s talk about the ABCD of sex, let’s get the conversation going.
How do you DO sex education? Share your stories of sex education.