Boys Need To Be A Part Of The Conversation On Bodily Autonomy And Sexual Rights

It has been generally observed that our development paradigm is marked by patriarchal control and a focus on awareness aimed at women in every domain. That is quite a strange set-up within our social model, but that is the truth.

Whenever we talk of sexual crimes, so we tend to offer a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ to our girls and women, but we still tend to ignore the role of young boys and men in all this. And, on the other side, we do not let women develop to their highest potential.

Wow, this is an upside-world.

Well, if we want to decrease the rate of sexual crimes and arrest its growth, then we need to think about men, especially adolescent boys. Do we stop and think what a 12-year old boy might think of when he is made aware of increasing instances of rape? It’s true that girls get scared when they hear of such heinous crimes, but what about boys?

Is every boy a perpetual criminal or a potential sexual offender? The answer is NO. And, those who turn out to be on the wrong side of the law are the ones who lack this basic sexual education and concept of bodily rights. In such times, we make it worse by just focusing on women’s education and ignoring the men.

Therefore to initiate a conversation around boy’s sexual rights and make them aware of their bodily changes during puberty, Aim To Sustain Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was founded.

Three remarkable individuals from Lucknow University, who are currently pursuing their Masters in Social Work, believed that if adolescent boys could be educated about sex and bodily rights, we might be able to provide a safe space for our society.

The organization is of the opinion that any kind of development cannot be successful if it tends to leave half of the population behind. Just like the fact that economic progress is a fool’s paradise without the participation of the women workforce, the same way, a safe society will only be a reality if boys and men are given proper education about this too.

Therefore, the organization has embarked on an interesting and significant journey of educating adolescents (with a primary focus on boys) about Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

About the author: Himanshu Dubey is the Founder and Director of the organization.

Featured image provided by the author.
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