Monday, 30 June 2014

Sex and the Education


A new debate has gripped the nation over the past few days. Sex education – should it be banned from schools ?? It’s highly unusual that anything related to sex is the talk of the town in a society as conservative as ours. It all started when our new health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who coincidentally also happens to be an ENT specialist, said in an interview that sex education should be banned from being taught in the schools in the country. He went on to mention that our culture, values and morals are enough contraceptives we need.

Let’s look at this objectively and start from the beginning. What is sex education ?? The bookish definition being – “sex education constitutes instructions on issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual activity, health and birth control.” Phew!! That’s a lot of sex for today.

What the conservative Indians fear about sex education is their misconception of it being the theoretical and practical knowledge of what porn sites are made of. No, absolutely not sir. Sex Ed classes do not intend to arouse your sweet innocent child. Instead they intend to educate him/her of the consequences of that arousal, just in case he decides to act on it. Sex Ed also does not mean a vocational degree in the act. It will not come back to haunt the conservative values as the child’s highest educational qualification. S.N. Gupta, Masters in Sex.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also mentioned that we do not need condoms to prevent AIDS. Maybe we don’t if we belong to a super-human race possessing exceptionally intelligent reproductory organs. He proudly advocated the values, morals and our culture in the same statement. Unfortunately, they hold no value once you turn off the lights and get under the blanket and the canoodling begins. It’s not like saying a prayer before sex will scare away the sperms. Also, the culture that he mentions about, gave the world Kamasutra- the greatest hands-on guide to producing babies. The epic Mahabharata maybe repeated soon because without the safety of the condoms, we may well have bunches of Kauravas running around. Hum do, humare 101.

Probably his statements have been misinterpreted. He could’ve had an underlying argument. His prime minister has a vision for a technologically advanced country. This is an era of internet. Why waste time, money, manpower and patience on sex educations when lots of detailed tutorials are easily available online ??

Let’s consider a former cabinet minister. With his children, he can field a team in basketball, volleyball, organize competitive inter-family championships in chess, badminton, tennis, carom, snooker, sprint races too, write all his children’s name in a 3x3 matrix, and find the inverse, transpose, disjoints etc. and borrow two more players and field his team in cricket, football and hockey.
Before the internet came along, a lot of the above had already happened in the country, propelling us to the second spot on the ‘Most Populated Nations’ list.

The truth remains and that is we need a structure like Sex Ed to educate the youth of the outcomes the lack of knowledge may bring. There are higher cases of teen pregnancies in India than even the U.S. and U.K. It would help the cause if we, as a society, are a little open minded and do not treat contraceptive advertisements as an explosive our children need to be protected from. Family planning and the responsibilities of parenthood need to be on the back of every mind, even the little ones while growing up. The school going children are at their most naïve and vulnerable stage. They are curious and curiosity leads to a lot of things.

A lot has been tried to limit the population explosion. Education should be all round. Huge amount of money is spent on implementing plans to eradicate illiteracy by extending basic educations to the poor. Why not make an attempt to include sex education as a part of that process as well ?? While they learn to play with numbers and alphabets, might as well tell them why they have a dozen siblings. After all, we do not want to have intelligent mathematicians having already reproduced multiple times just because of lack of knowledge.

Sex education is not any less sexy than 36-24-36. It might just help prevent a family from being the biggest in the neighborhood unless of course they want their own squad of newborns at the Olympics. Let’s all be humble and let China be the most populous nation and stop competing with them, for once.

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