A Giant Leap Backwards

State governments in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have banned sex education in schools. This is despite the central government’s attempt to make it compulsory from standard six, next academic year onwards. The explanations for this ban rest on the usual pillars of obscenity and objectionable material. The minds of young children can be irreparably harmed if they learn about sex, according to our esteemed ministers. In Karnataka, RSS leader and former MLC K Narahari backed Basavaraj Horatti, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, saying students would be better off attending classes on moral education than sex education. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan feels that youngsters need yoga lessons instead. Never mind that these youngsters are hurtling into puberty, eager for information on sex and quite willing to look for it elsewhere.

Engaging in sexual encounters without appropriate knowledge and guidance can lead to a host of physical, emotional, and psycho-social problems ranging from unhealthy attitudes towards the opposite sex and repression to unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV. In the absence of adequate and proper sex education from school or family, many young people turn to peers, friends and pornographic magazines and websites for information. Especially among boys, porn is circulated like cigarettes or small change. According to data, 75% of Indians learn about sex from friends and porn films[1]. The result is another generation of Indians with half-baked knowledge about sexual matters, very little awareness about their bodies, and warped or misguided notions about the opposite sex and sexuality. Full essay here.

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Gender

One response to “A Giant Leap Backwards

  1. Princess Stefania

    Well, that’s India for you.
    It’s something that I feel strongly about too.
    According to a recent study, 0.9% of Indians are infected with AIDS. And in a country this large, it’s a huge number of people.
    As of 2005, 18% of the inhabitants of Karnataka were found to be HIV positive.
    Ironically, the very states in which sex ed. has been banned, are among the ones worst affected.
    When will our government wake up?

    Great post, by the way.

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