Does India need sex education?

Publicado: 28 julio 2022 a las 12:03 am

Categorías: Noticias Asia

India/July 28, 2022/ By: Sheen Kachroo, Edited By: Chaheti Singh Sisodia /Source:

The demand for sex education in India is not new. Many people have voiced their concerns regarding the need for sex education in the school curriculum but due to staunch opposition from the orthodox people and political unwillingness, the proposal remains rejected.

But then why the topic of sex education is debated? It is a matter of fact that the developing economies have tried to level up with developed economies. It can be in terms of their infrastructure, technology and education among others. Then why sex education is restricted?

According to the state of world population report 2021, titled My body is my own, highlights, 56% of countries have formulated laws and policies which support comprehensive sexuality education.

India, being a diverse country opted for Indianness in every western innovation then why not this?

There is a breathing myth about this idea. Some opposition put forth by the people suggests – hurting of sentiments, loss of family essence, breaking shackles of culture and acceptance of dominated forces of westernization. Due to these reasons, life-saving lessons are put at stake like consent, STI, contraception, sexual health and hygiene.

Sex education is an important part of education which helps young people to understand their body, sexual emotions, and sexuality, and helps them to make informed decisions about their bodily needs.

At young stages attracting toward myths and risky behaviour is a common occurrence. To provide precaution to them, sex education is necessary.

The topic of sex education is barred from school. States like Maharashtra Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have banned imparting sex education in schools. They opine that this can corrupt practices and increase risky behaviour.

Globally, the leading cause of death for 15-year to 19-year-old girls is complications arising from pregnancy. Young people can take such decisions wisely after sex education.

Topics like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and their adverse outcomes (such as cancer and infertility); unintended pregnancy and abortion; sexual dysfunction; sexual violence; and harmful practices (such as female genital mutilation, FGM) can be included.

The importance of consent for both males and females is losing out somewhere in this battle. India’s National Population Policy also reiterates the need for educating adolescents about the risks of unprotected sex.  In fact, in 2005, adolescent reproductive and sexual health education was initiated which covered sexually transmitted diseases, consent, attraction, gender and sexuality among others. Later on, it was banned and 12 Indian states declared it «inappropriate» and said that it can «increase risky behaviour» among adolescents.

Getting much-needed awareness might help India to complete SDG goal 3 as well as target 5.6 SDG which ensures universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

In 2007 a scheme was introduced by the National AIDS Control Organisation and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The aim was to spread awareness among adolescents about healthy sexual practices. It was later taken down as opponents thought it will corrupt Indian values. They contended that this will lead to experimentation and irresponsible sexual behaviour and furthermore that India has rich culture and values and sex education is good in western countries rather than in India. At the same time, the proponent of the scheme said India is modernising at a fast speed and these conservative thoughts are not required.

Certain sections of society consider that sex education can decrease the cases of rape. Many a time the rapist has an illicit notion of sex, lack morals and are misguided which allows them to take the wrong path to satisfy the need of the body and mind.

Good quality sexuality education is grounded in internationally accepted human rights, in particular the right to access appropriate health-related information. This right has been confirmed by the United Nations committee on the rights of the child, the committee on the elimination of discrimination against women,  the committee on economic, social and cultural rights and many other organisations in the world.

It’s high time the government should eye towards it!

(Disclaimer: The views of the writer do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. Nor does WION or ZMCL endorse the views of the writer.)