SEX EDUCATION: Why so Taboo???

Posted on February 25, 2009 in Education

-Anshul Tewari

Whenever we talk about life in general, we come across a number of issues that affect our lives, some which we physically see and some which we emotionally feel. Amongst these are subjects considered taboo. But, are they actually taboo? Should we shy away from them at any cost? Should we avoid them? Well I say, not at all. One such issue is the importance of sex education in India.
A much debated topic, sex education has not yet got the deserved status. The Supreme Court on 16 November, 2007 decided that Sex education in schools cannot be brought under the ambit of fundamental rights by making it a part of the right to education. “We cannot make it (sex education) a fundamental right,” a bench comprising Justice
Ruma Pal and Justice A R Lakshmanan said while dealing with a Public Interest Litigation, which had suggested making sex education in schools compulsory.

Sex education comprises a number of issues and factors. Lets start with the importance and lack of sex education.

Importance of Sex Education:

>Youngsters usually derive information on sex and related subjects from sources like friends, books, the media comprising advertising, television, magazines and the Internet. The problem is that these sources may or may not really provide them correct and accurate information. As such, sex education will help in transferring authentic info and and in the process also correct any misconceptions and misinformation that they may have apart from adding to their already existing knowledge.

>Sex Education imparted through schools can prove to be a significant and effective method of bettering the youngster’s sex-related knowledge, attitude and behaviour.

>Sex education in school is important because many parents are shy about talking/teaching their children about his subject.

>Educating children on sex related issues also requires one to know how to broach the subject, what information to impart and what to hold back. All these can be carefully handled by a trained sex educator.

>It is a fact that more and more teens these days are engaging into premarital sex. This further underscores the need for sex education to students. This will help them make better informed decisions about their personal sexual activities.

Many argue that sex education also helps to lessen risk behaviors in teenagers like engaging in unprotected sex which result in unwanted pregnancies and STD’s.

Around 80% teenagers are unaware of the various Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and also about the reason for these diseases.

Sex education helps teens to be well prepared for life changes such as puberty, menopause and aging. It can develop skills to help children enter adolescence.

>Sex education helps understand the place of sexuality in human life and loving other people.

The lack of sex education has led and will lead to minor rapes, teenage pregnancies, high risk behavior, absence of knowledge leading to misuse of sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Sex education must be imparted at school level to all students to avoid the above problems.

Teachers argue that how can sex education be imparted in school? It is unethical. Parents argue that how can they talk about taboo issues such as sex or the human body with their children? They feel shy. Peer groups and friends make fun of sex related issues.

Then who will educate people? It is our responsibility. Parents must talk to their children about this in order to make them aware and avoid any problems. Sex education must be a part of the school curriculum to impart formal education about the issues. Teenagers who are educated must behave responsibly and further the correct and authentic information about Sex.

So dont shy away. Sex education is certainly not taboo. Let us know your views, post your comments.