Sex Education in India Essay
In the columns in newspapers or magazines giving advice on personal problems, we can find many questions related to different topics of sex. As a generalisation, most of these questions are very childish, as they appear at first look. But a little contemplation over them would reveal that it is due to the pitiable knowledge on sex that the youth of our country has access to and which has turned it into a malaise.
Whether sex education should be imparted to the youth as part of the school curriculum or not, has two different opinions. Those opposing it belong to the conventional school. They argue that it would make young people amoral and immoral. They say that it would divert their attention from other topics to sex.
The people who support this view say that sex education should be imparted as part of usual school education but have conflicting views as the standard in which this should be introduced.
Let us first tackle the query of the conventional school of thought that such education should not be included in education. If ever a survey was conducted about the conversations of the youth, irrespective of their sex, it would be found that more than half of their conversations centred round sex. As a matter of fact, a person is more curious about a topic which is denied to him. Since teachers and parents are wary of disclosing anything about sex to the youth, they are all too ready to get information from any source that they find interesting and informative. Here lies the real danger. The information gathered from the roadside cheap literature can be very misleading as there are many so called roadside sex specialists (quacks) who have their selfish interests behind the propaganda.
The ignorant youth can be a great liability to the nation. He can fall for such things as would spoil his life. The youth today knows about sex only as much as his personal fantasy goes or whatever he can gather from unauthorised, poorly-informed sources. It is the reason that we have a higher number of youths suffering from sex diseases. Among these diseases, one name alone is bound to send shivers down the spine, that is AIDS. Even then we continue to be indifferent to such a delicate matter. In fact this should necessitate our primary and foremost attention.
Compare a youth with adequate sex knowledge to a youth who has gathered knowledge from other sources. The former would be a person with a positive bend of mind raring to go in life leading a healthy life fully beware of the dangers of dreaded sexual diseases and other related things; while the latter would first get entangled in a problem and then he would be seen running to the quacks for cure for the diseases he contacted due to his ignorance.
A logical question arises as to which is the right age to introduce sex education. Most of the specialists and doctors agree that it should start at the age of puberty. It is the stage when physical changes begin to come about in adolescents, both boys and girls, and they gradually become more aware about sex. Primary education should concern with the organs, their cleanliness and how hygiene can be maintained. While introducing it, it should not be forgotten how mothers have been teaching their daughters about the menstruation cycle for ages. If it has never become a stumbling block in the progress of the girls, how then can formal education come in the way of personality development?
Biology has been taught in our schools for a long time now, and it is a sort of sex education. Biology introduces the organs in entirety minus the word ‘sex’. Only, its knowledge will have to be suitably moulded to give adolescents proper information.
Sex education should not cross the boundaries of decency. It should be developed into fine knowledge, and not in the crude way. The prevalent government advertisements go to make the people aware about AIDS and other sex aspects.
There is another aspect to sex education. The elders and parents have practised sex for ages. Sex is sublime incarnate because the motive of marriage is procreation, without which marriage has no meaning. Begetting offspring is perhaps the most important aspect of human life. Then how can we prevent education of such an important issue from reaching the youth in a healthy way? It is a great irony that articles have to be written to advocate the merits of sex education in the country of Kamasutra.
Many people agree that they are not averse to sex education. But what perturbs them most is its nomenclature. This impediment can be overcome by using a name for it so that it does not pass for something that can be called ‘obscene’. After all, what’s in a name if the purpose is fully met.
It is heartening to note positive results that sex education has achieved in Madhya Pradesh. It was introduced there in the year 1996, of course on a small scale. Such experiments can be carried out in other states too.