Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Out of sight but not out of mind

I came across a copy of a well circulated news magazine the other day. The question answer column pertaining to sexual health was a shocker. Kids as young as 15 years old, mostly guys were asking questions about their intimate problems. It was shocking to see this side of our teenagers and the kind of turmoil they are facing without anyone to answer their questions. There was a guy who was convinced by his peers to be gay, but he plaintively asks the Doctor if there was anything wrong with him as he liked girls!! There was a girl asking if she would get pregnant as she had kissed her boyfriend!! And she was just 14 years old! And more of what I thought was 'ridiculous' questions but was obviously an area of anxiety for these kids.

Several women's magazine also have regular columns like this and reading it will give our 'anti sex educationists' a reality check. But I guess it is better these people don't come across such columns or they would push for its ban because it 'corrupts' our youngsters and is against our 'culture'. What a joke. How do these people think they were born? Through immaculate conception? Why don't they prosecute their own parents for indulging in "immoral activities" that led to their birth?!

What I don't understand is how did the land of the 'Kamasutra' degenerate thus? By degenerate I mean, consider a natural function of the body 'dirty'? A country with an exploding population that considers the act of procreation 'dirty' is a disturbing thought indeed! What are we, a nation of perverts?

I think people who think that the act of procreation is dirty are the real 'perverts' because they deny men and women the natural right to associate with each other without guilt.

Right to sex education should be a given by law especially in a country like ours. Why do we deny this natural function of the body while we acknowledge the rest? We rush around consulting specialists and take advice on healthy eating habits if we have a heart problem and or diabetes etc. Why don't we do allow the same courtesy to sexual health? We allow Dental camps in schools, why don't we allow sex education? I am surprised that the moral brigade allows Sexologists to practise in our country!!!

What is the moral brigade scared of? Do these people think that kids don't know anything about the 'act'? In which case it is high time we burst the myth that our kids are asexual beings. Perhaps we need to educate the people ranting against sex education about the realities of life which might perhaps make them sit up and take note of the looming threat to the very fabric of our society due to ignorance. How do you expect people to exercise self restraint when you don't allow them to know what is right and what is wrong?

The greatest irony of our times is that AIDs has had more effect on our people than the preachings of priests, pundits and mullahs.

Today's newspapers show a group of saffron clad Arya Samaji's protesting against sex education. Last month it was an Imam who threatened the government if they went ahead with sex education classes. Do they know the type of damage they are doing to the youth by denying them the basic right to information that will have far reaching effect on their mental health?

On the flip side I hope places where they allow sex education are equipped with teachers who can give an unbiased reply to kids questions, or else sex education classes will degenerate into ideological or communally colored moralistic preachings and our kids will be back to square one.


Prats said...

A very thoughtful post. Read about such situations everywhere. I have a son who's going through the Why's of life. They hear such amazing stuff from their peers, and it is so sad that the answers have always to be given by parents most times.
Really wish this hypocritical society does change, to accomodate the upcoming curious generation without spoiling their innocence

hope and love said...

very true. sex education is a MUST. but it should be given in a friendly and honest manner.geting proper people to educate the kids will be the greatest challenge.

Jithesh said...

Denying the children accurate information about sex is a part of a grand vision espoused by the hyper-conservative sections of the society. Most of the parents in India would like to exercise their sovereign right in choosing the partner for their offspring. So imparting incorrect information, or suppressing correct information, is considered as a method to create a wedge between boys and girls, especially during adolescence. In this way they try to ensure that their progeny stays away from affairs/relationships. So that’s why we hear questions like whether a kiss can cause pregnancy……etc. Any talk about sex is considered as a taboo. And many a times this ignorance continues even during adulthood.

As far as sex education is concerned, as you have rightly said, there might exist problems relating to competency of teachers. I know of many biology teachers who would skip the chapter relating to reproduction just because they are too embarrassed to speak about it.

mathew said...

Perfectly put across…This one should be put in mainstream media …
Really ridiculous to see the moral brigade taking such a stance..
There is no issue in vulgar gyrations shown in movies. But they raise a hue and cry when sex educa-tion is talked about which means better awareness, population control, AID prevention etc…
Its like a secret everyone knows about but yet everyone seems to deny knowing it!! I seriously wished there was sex education which makes more sense than turning to porn to learn the les-sons…Our older generation think it as taboo topic and are embarrassed to answer any ques-tions…probably that’s how they were taught…But sometime it has to change for god sake...And why not now??
The trouble with this freaking moral junta is they equate sex education with porn and afraid of losing the status of self-proclaimed policeman status!!

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

Couldn't agree with you more.
I am against censorship. Rate, but don't use them scissors. U, U/A and A looks black and white. we have greys and we have colors.

I remember I was the most curious(and dangerous, hence) when i was in my puberty. And I know so were all my friends. We could have ended up in a lot of trouble, had we not had "understanding" parents. My old man pointed me to a certain section in his library (which I had combed already, but what the hell).

I am an activist with my nephews nieces and little cousins already. :)


Amey said...

Heard the news about how some people were stopping NGOs handing out condoms during Navaratri celebs in Gujrat? I don't think that lack of condom would act as "cold shower" in such cases.

But I hope Sex-Ed is different now than we had during our school, when we spent most of the time giggling.

Thanu said...

Sex education is so important to be taught it schools. Kids must be told abt STDs, safe sex. Parents also should be actively involved in talking to kids regarding all this.. Not just blame the system.

aaron said...

an assumption: i am a student who did not know anything about sex till yesterday and today i was told(never happens in the real world) how sexual intercourse happens, why people have sex, sexual violence, sexual diseases etc,......
now, i am going to have more and more questions on the subject popping up in my head as time goes by.

eg:why do people have sex?
someone at some point of time will tell me that people derive pleasure out of it, and it is an expression of love. now, i would definitely want to experience this. a lot of people who are not mature enough and are/not fully informed will end up having sex. how do you explain to a teenager that he should not be thinking of getting pleasure out of sex at his age and that he has to wait till he is married( a large section of our society i guess, expects this). though complex, it is doable. the onus is on the educators and the parents, to explain why people are encouraged usually to have sex only within marriage, and to give an unbiased view on the topic. this usually does/will not happen. why? it might feel awkward, parents might not be educated, parents might feel that the want/urge for sex is so great that their children might not be able to control the urge, .... a whole lot of reasons.

what is A solution, run away... this, for a lot of people. another, dogmatism. to ban sex education and terming it dirty might lessen curiosity for while(for a set of people), and make it easier for another set of people who are
supposed to do the explaining. In the long run, this would lead to misinformed ignorant people who might have to face the consequences, perverts etc. the impact of sexual intercourse is so complex to figure out at one go, that, only involved discussions can make people understand it fully.

do i support sex education? and do i feel that parents/society should be involved in sex education? yes. why? because this is the best way that this issue can be dealt with and it is a very important issue. i also believe that the ones doing the shouting against sex education are scared of losing authority/power due to sexual empowerment of women/men? it probably also has something to do with preserving male supremacy or some shit like that. i guess sexual education properly done, leads to a greater respect for women and also indirectly emphasizes the equality of women and not everyone wants this.

basically, sex education is hard work and an issue that falls outside most peoples comfort zones.

Dhanya said...

Totally agree to this.. Such an awareness is a must.. A post related to this subject :

silverine said...

Prats: I wish too, we need to change to keep pace with the speed at which the world around us are changing. Sadly that is not happening.

HnL: You are absolutely right. I remember a sex education class we got in our final year of school. It was howlarious as it was given by a nun. A collection of 'vague'isms' if I may use the word lol!!

jithesh: hmm that makes sense. I guess that must be preserve racial and caste purity. We too had a biology teacher who blushed when we asked her what 'fertilization' meant. She told us it had something to do with fertilizers lol!! :p

mathew: When the RSS were attacking the filming of "Fire" on the banks of the Ganga, a Hindi film crew blissfully shot a vulgar dance sequence at the very same place. Need I say more? You are right, the moral junta is scared of their loosening hold on the faithful.

toothless wonder: Thank you!! :)

amey: That is the height of hazardous behavior!!! I remember reading in Indian Express last year that the 'Navratri' celebration witnesses a big jump in abortions!!

Thanu: Absolutely right!!

Dhanya: Wish the moral brigade realise how critical this is!!

aaron: I would like to think that a proper "Sex Education' teacher will not only tell teenagers about the birds and the bees but also about responsible behavior. I dont think 'Sex Education' will be limited to an explanation about the act of procreation only. It goes beyond that. And I agree with the rest of your comment :)

Joe said...

You are right. Sex education is a must in the current context..Lack of knowledge might make a teenager go astray apart from all the trauma it might cause..

I hope someone can drill some sense into the heads of the self appointed moral guardians of the society to direct their energy and efforts into something of use to the people rather than trying in vain to dictate how other people should live their lives..

silverine said...

Joey: Well said !!

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

What are we, a nation of perverts?

No, hypocrites.