Introducing sex education in the schools of India is an important issue. A 2007 ministry of women and child development study shows that over 50 percent of children are sexually abused. Sex is still considered a taboo in India. Parents feel embarrassed to talk openly with their children in this regard. Due to the ignorance of sex education they fall victim to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Many NGOs are trying to create awareness on AIDS. Sex education can help people to take decisions regarding health and sexuality. It is high time for sex-education to the introduced in schools for the benefit of the youth of the country.
Introducing sex-education in the schools of India is an important issue. Recommendations of the National curriculum frame work 2000 focus on cultivating a proper understanding of sex related issues with special focus on teenage pregnancies, drug addiction and adolescent education. A 2007 Ministry of women and child development study shows that over 50 percent of our children are sexually abused. In half of these cases, the abuse is perpetrated by persons in positions of trust and a majority of the children do not report it due to fear.
Sex education has become a debatable issue. Many people feel that these kind of delicate issues should be left to the parents. Parents feel embarrassed to talk openly with their children in this regard. Sex is still considered a taboo in the Indian society. It is considered that teaching our children about their sexuality can break down pre-existing notions of modesty and tear the moral fabric of our society. But with the alarming increase of AIDS, unwanted / unplanned / unwed pregnancies and other diseases related to sex, it is important that sex-education should be given importance in schools and colleges.
Physical and mental changes in children start appearing with puberty. Sexual development begins much earlier than that. Many children find it strange or difficult to cope up with the changes. They grow up with curiosity stamped on their minds. So it is very important to provide them sex education. It makes growing children aware of the various changes taking place in their bodies and prepare them for responsible adulthood.
Surveys indicate that on an average, every urban student watches television for two hours daily. The foreign television channels, the vulgar scenes shown in Indian cinema and video albums create a negative impact on them. The movie and serials on the small screen stimulate the younger generation sexually. Thus in the absence of sound knowledge about sex they commit mistakes which result in unwanted pregnancies, HIV positive cases and other sexually transmitted diseases. In India 15 percent of the HIV/AIDS patients are actually children under 15 years of age. Sex education can help people to take decisions regarding health and sexuality.
Teaching children about sex in classroom would encourage them to view it as a natural, normal and healthy part of life. Sex education should be introduced in schools and colleges. If children and youngsters learn about sex in scientific and objective way, they would be more careful before indulging in sex secretly. At least they would be careful to take precautions so as to avoid pregnancies and diseases. India, and most Asian countries, also fell behind Western countries on their level of confidence on how to protect themselves from HIV-AIDS (75.3 percent), and even lower on level of confidence on how to avoid pregnancy (73 percent).
Parents, in India, are known to hide their affection towards each other, in front of their children. The children grow up to believe that love is a taboo and it is perverse to display one’s affection in public. Parents should understand the psyche of their children. Parents should initiate their children in the meaning of love. The love they display for their children. by giving gifts, sharing and caring for them, should also be shown for each other by behaving like perfectly normal friends. Parents should talk with their children more often to give them the feeling of security in the family. This could make the children open up their problems and help the parents root out the cause. Interaction with the friends of their children also would give an idea about their background and the minds of the younger lot. The parents should take in their children as confidants and warm them against developing friendships with immoral friends.
There has been a rise in incidents of physical abuse to children. According to a WHO study over 50 percent children have faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. Children fall victim to the advances of elders. According to a survey, 50 percent children are abused by people known to them. They keep silent and live with the trauma throughout their lives. Sex education can supply our young people with the tools to report and resist abusive behaviors, and provide them with a forum for expressing their fears and feelings honestly and openly. In a world, full of exploitation, children are the most vulnerable section of our society. They need to be taught the difference between gentle touch and bad touch in order to protect themselves from various forms of child abuse.
Many psychologists have argued that sex education has the potential to liberate us from socially organized sexual oppression. In addition it helps adolescents come to healthy terms with their sexual identities and overcome feelings of guilt shame. During the period of adolescence children begin to see the world in a mature way.
Many NGOs have introduced training programs on AIDS and HIV awareness. They should be encouraged and the schools and colleges should co-operate with them to give the desired result.
Schools life remains an integral part of every child’s development. Along with the academic subjects, sex-education should be given equal importance. Trained teachers, psychologists and medical consultants should deal with the subject. While imparting sex-education the boys and girls should be divided into two groups (one for boys and other for girls). They should be taught separately. This way the lady teachers should teach girls and male teachers should teach boys. Children will not feel embarrassed. They will freely clarify their doubts and queries. Due care should be taken about the contents of the subject. This should be decided by a team of doctors and psychologists of the respective field.
It is high time for sex-education to be introduced in the educational curriculum. Sex education in schools would dispel many of the myths prevalent among school children. It will create a liberal thinking among youth.