India is home to 253 million adolescents (aged 10-19 years) who comprise 21% of the country’s population as per the 2011 census who receive little to no education about their own sexuality.
What is Sex Education?
Before we talk about sex education taboo lets understand what really sex education is. Sex education is a programme which educates and informs young individuals about sex, sexual health, sexuality, and sexual rights in an age-appropriate manner. It increases their awareness about their own body and that of the opposite gender.
Why sex education in schools is still a taboo across Indian states ?
To understand the current scenario we have to turn few pages of our social development and historical evolution of society. In past few decades or so we have seen immense change in social life of an average Indian. Over a period of time, we have become more expressive to discuss any subject including sex. When we are progressing forward toward an open and liberal society then why sex education is still a taboo for school children is the big question mark on our thinking and doing.
What are the possible reasons of big no to sexual education
- Since centuries we have maintained a gap between the educator and pupil in form of respect.
- Parents put the age gap as a barrier in communication thus child and parents remain isolated on issues like sex
- Indian value system seems like a huge roadblock in this context
- Gender inequality plays a vital role in ignorance toward this subject
A study was conducted in collaboration with UNICEF and the Population Council India about adolescents based on research conducted and published between 2002-2013.
The study find out that adolescents face challenges in various aspects during early years of life such as Lack of education, child labor, lack of nutrition, substance abuse, child sexual abuse and a lack of understanding of their sexual and reproductive health are only some of the glaring shortcomings in their well-being.
The lack of comprehensive data on all young children makes it difficult to exactify the impact of these problems have on them.
So whats the glittering benefits of Sex Education ??
So far we have come to the conclusion that we really need to add sex education in our school curriculum. though still we don’t know what good it will bring to growing children or as a whole to the society?
Largely we can divide the beneficiary outcome of sex education in 3 parts
1. Awareness about Sexually transmitted diseases or infection in lack of hygiene:-
- There is very little awareness about safe sexual encounters and the consequence of having unprotected relations with multiple partners.Only 45% young men and 28% young women seem to have comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its prevention. This is more in cities than in rural areas. Same is the knowledge about HIV/AIDS testing facilities with only 42% young men and 30% young women, among the 15-19 year olds, ever having heard of resources to get such a health check-up. Such high-risk sexual vulnerability can be attempted to be avoided if schools adhere to the National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy 2002 which begs the need for AIDS prevention and protection of the rights of infected individuals through awareness and education.
2. Female reproductive heath and hygiene:-
- Indian gender inequality becomes a nightmare for a growing female child as she won’t be able to get the required information regarding her changing physical and mental health. Proper education about the female menstrual cycle and hygiene would be a great health enhancer on physical as well as mental health.
3. Awareness against sexual abuse and knowledge about the channels to face:-
- Children and women are vulnerable to being violated against, especially if they are kept in the dark about sexuality and its abuse at the hands of perpetrators that are often among friends and families.
Its not a responsibility of a government only to implement such initiative besides its a collective responsibility of the society to become more accepting toward the thigs which affect new generations.
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