How did we come to life? By this asking this question I am not alluding to the concept of life in its philosophical understanding but to a more scientific, rather biological concept. I would answer this but society might not like my answer. I am not supposed to talk about it. Shhh. Let’s keep mum about the fact which brought us to this planet and never let others know that we know.
So what am I really talking about? Sex. Being a taboo, I am not allowed to discuss it openly and in its most explicit form, right? Think about it, why should we not converse about the very source of our existence? Doesn’t this seem strange to you? Sex is the reason why we are even breathing at this very moment so what’s the point of being hush about it? It’s a biological action and need. As simple as that. But when it comes to India and our ‘society’ not everything is as black and white as it is.
When children hit puberty it is a fairly obvious idea to be curious about our bodies and sexuality. There are numerous questions that arise, several things that demand explanations and a lot of anxiety about the very concept of sex. Given the bodily changes that are occurring, it is expected. So why is it not accepted? There is simply nothing wrong in educating these teenagers about sex. In fact, it should be mandatory. If the kids are not properly made to understand and made aware of the consequences, how can we blame them if they commit a sexual crime at this tender age? Education, thus, becomes the solution and school the medium.
Just when parents are beginning to realize the importance of sex education Dr. Harsh Vardhan comes along to call for a ban on sex education in schools. This happens only in India. (Albeit he later clarified his stand) Now this statement throws open a number of debates. What was the reason he made this comment? Probably because he felt that educating kids about sex at a vulnerable age might have a contrary effect of promoting sexual activity among children. This supposition brings the question of morality into play. Is it wrong for kids to have sex? Unfortunately, we cannot say no and put an end to things. But let’s not get into that debate. If their elders are hesitant to talk about sex it will be foolish to assume that they will be kept in the dark about it. They will inevitably turn to other unreliable and misleading sources which will then be responsible for any mishap but we could never assign them with any accountability.
Let’s debunk this myth of information about sex leads to sex. It does not work that way! When kids possess the right knowledge, they should be deemed fit to decide what they want to do with that knowledge. But that is up to them. Of course, there are dangers involved with teenage sex but you can’t simply impose a ban on sex education and project it as the most obvious choice!
Having said that, we need open-minded, rational and grounded teachers to be vested with this responsibility of imparting knowledge to these young minds without encountering any degree of gawkiness about the same. To be able to handle mixed responses, intuitive questions and addressing general queries with an aim to disillusion the incorrect and masked prior knowledge is an important factor and determinant in deciding who should guide these kids.
Sex is a difficult term to survive in our orthodox society. Thus, sex education is bound to be a controversial topic but we need to come to terms with it. Keeping in mind the recent rise in juvenile sexual crimes it is not hard to assume the all the more need to be frank and liberal about sex. After all, it’s what got us here!
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