Protecting Society- “WITH” or “FROM” Sex Education?

Education is one thing which is very important for ones overall development and growth. It plays a vital role in shaping up a good human being with a good future. Since Macaulay introduced formal education in our country at the time of the Raj, this formal system has come a long way. From changes in the syllabus of the existing subjects to the introduction of new subjects, this dynamic field has witnessed many attempts aimed at its improvement for the betterment of the whole society. One such change which the government wants to bring in right now is the introduction of sex education.

A lot of fuss is being created by this step of our centre government. People from the whole strata of the society will be affected by this change and voices from every corner of the country and society are being heard both for and against the motion. There are people who are against it and there are people who are all game for it. Some says it’s the need of the hour and more than a necessity. While for others its nothing more than a menace. Going by their words it is against our moral and religious value. It will degrade the society as a whole and will malign the minds of children. Some of the very strong resentment is being shown by these people against the introduction of sex education as a separate subject in school curriculum. From teachers in U.P planning to burn the course books to some states even banning it, there is a loud uproar against it. On the other hand government is unmoved by these resentments and is determined to introduce it. For them and the people advocating it, it is a must have in today’s scenario.

Both the parties have their own side of the story and their arguments to justify and support their actions. This looks to be a very delicate issue and that’s why except them no one is taking any sides on the topic. Frankly speaking even I am not sure if sex education should be taught as a separate subject in school or not and if it will do any good to the society or will really lead to its deterioration. But the grounds on which people are trying to defend the government looks very shallow and hollow to me atleast.

Going by the government claims awareness and education about sex is a must for everyone due to a various reasons. The increasing cases of teenage pregnancies, huge number of HIV positive people present in our country which is on a rise, protection of children from sexual abuse, practice of safe sex are  the causes of concern over here. The government and our intellects advocating it believes that all these problems can be tackled by the introduction of sex education and exposing children towards this natural phenomena at the earliest age possible. I do not understand what made them think so and I really doubt the efficiency of this policy of theirs.

First things first, Sex education might be a new thing for us, but in west it is not a recent phenomena. Let’s talk about how good the ‘world leader’ is in this context. The kind of exposure of children has regarding the topic is enormous over there and they are very well versed with the issue. Still as per the statistics one million teens in the USA will become pregnant over the next twelve months. Ninety-five percent of those pregnancies are unintended. About one third will end in abortion; one third will end in spontaneous miscarriage; and one third will continue their pregnancy to term and keep their baby. More than half of them are 17 years old or younger when they have their first pregnancy. Approximately 40 percent of young women become pregnant before they reach 20 years old. The United States of America has double the adolescent pregnancy and birth rates of any other industrialized country. UK is also equally good when it comes to teenage pregnancies and its rate is twice as high as Germany, three times higher than France and six times higher than Holland. Still we believe that introduction of sex education will decrease the cases of teenage pregnancies and will encourage people to practice safe sex.

The number of HIV positive cases is a big issue in front of our country. But advocating sex education in name of these cases is not at all done. Of the global total of 38.6 million persons living with HIV the total number of people living in the USA with HIV/AIDS is thought to be between 1,039,000 and 1,185,000 out of a total population of 301,139,947 which is around 3 in every 1000. Whereas India has, 5 million estimated HIV positive people do not look very big (4 out of every 1000). Infact a recent survey busted all these claims and according to it the figure of 5 million cases is distorted by more than 45%. The actual number may be somewhere around 3 million or even lesser. The new data by the population-based study, called the National Family Health Survey, which took blood samples of 102,000 people from across the country, showed India had fewer cases than thought. Still we look towards the west for combating a menace called HIV/AIDS by the introduction of sex education. Moreover when the government talks about sex education will lead to awareness against sexual abuse of children, I do not understand how come they forget that sexual abuse of children in the west is as old as there so called enlightening sex education.

I do not have any grudges against the government or its policies. Neither I am against anything which is for the benefit of our society, nor do I have anything personal against sex education. If sex education in some way or the other is beneficial then it should be given to the children, but we should first workout on a proper curriculum and other necessary things before implementing something at such a huge level and that too which directly affects the future of the country and not just do things in any kind of haste to copy the west. Still if the government wishes to go ahead with their plans, then there must be some long term benefit about which we cannot infer right now and mind it, this benefit has not seen the daylight in the west till yet. It is very sad that the people who are advocators of sex education are considered to be modern and liberal, while those against are thought to be backward and orthodox.  


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1 thought on “Protecting Society- “WITH” or “FROM” Sex Education?”

  1. Your question is quite interesting to answer as your opinion is more inclined to explore the solution of this problem. You are doubtful as to how sex education can actually serve the purpose of reducing the cases of sexual assault and lead the generation to practice safe sex.
    Firstly I would like to put forth certain facts and studies that will be convincing enough for you to give a second thought to your opinion regarding the introduction of sex education in schools…The article attached states that the cases of pregnancies and abortions are in rising figures in US also which supports the idea of failure of sex education in offering them the responsibility to carry safe sex..
    In support of my opinion I would like to say that as per the 48 studies conducted about comprehensive sex and HIV/STD education programs in the US schools, it was discovered that such programs do not increase the cases of sexual activities. In fact a major portion of youngsters reduced their sexual activities and practiced safe sex by using contraceptives and other precautions.
    Also the federally financed research studies, that include the one conducted in the public schools New York, demonstrates that a detailed and comprehensive AIDS education which includes providing instruction in the condom use helps in delaying the age when young men become sexually active. Also this helps to infuse a change in their attitudes and save them from risky sexual practices.
    It should be considered that young people are prone to store information that they can use later on. My opinion in favor of providing education in schools is because I am convinced with the fact that sex education that actually works must be started early, before young people reach their teenage years and follow the pre-determined patterns of behaviors and lifestyle.
    Of course few things that should be considered before imparting the sexual education lessons depends on the physical, emotional as well as intellectual development of an individual. Also the level of understating plays a vital role in making the young generation aware about the right age and right ways of practicing sex. The sex education lessons are properly worked before the knowledge is introduced to the young people. The questions like what is to be covered and how it should be delivered are answered depending on the age of the children being addressed and educated. Also it will vary as per what is essential for them to know at a particular age and what they want to know actually.
    Providing sex education in school nowhere states that they should be exposed to everything beyond their level and age. Sex education bestowed in schools strictly limits itself to the level of understanding of young people and teenagers. It also means to sustain sex education that will build over time and with their growing age. In fact, parents are expected to remain actively participate in the topics related to this issue by giving them some basic lessons. For instance, they can tell their children that how a person grows with age and what are changes that take place. This will make the young people to get mentally prepared for teenage experience and changes. Also they can enlighten about them about the viruses and germs that attack the body that favour them to learn about STD’s at a mature age later.
    Keeping in consideration, where in some families parents feel hesitant talking on such sensitive topics with their children, the sex education course is planned to get introduced in schools. There sessions will not only make children aware about the right time and age of sex but also answer to their teenage curiosities from a healthy source. In Netherlands, parents take it as a responsibility to talk about sex and sexuality with their children so as to avoid the cases of child abuses leading them to practice safe and secure sex at a favourable age.
    What an irony it is… these teenagers receive mixed messages from the society…where on one hand they get to see advertising images selling sex products and on the other hand they suffer sex education restrictions that saves the educators and health professionals from adequately preparing them to act in a responsible and safe manner when it comes to sex.

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