Yesterday I already touched the topic of sex education in the west and the complete opposite of that in other countries where sex is such a taboo that nobody will ever talk to a child about.
When I was a young adult, I read a bit about sex education in other countries in Indian newspapers or heard more about it through other media. I have to confess, I was also against it in that time. I thought, why do you need to give sex education to a child? Sexual arousal is a normal and natural feeling which comes by itself with the development of your body. Your body will probably know everything else that will follow in the consequence. Those who have not been taught about sex in school are also able to have proper sex! So you see, I was also skeptical about this concept. And I know that many more people in India think in the same way as I did then.
You may add however, that I did not really know what the words ‘sex education’ actually implied. After coming out of the cave in 2001 I started travelling in the west and with the years I got more and more friends there. Of course I was curious and talked with them about this concept of teaching children about sex. It was only then that I got to know what sex education was.
I want to write a few lines to those people who think just as I had been thinking, that sex education means a teacher tells students how to have sex. You may be in the wrong belief that the teacher would show pictures of different positions and tell you the best techniques to please your partner in bed. Obviously, you would not like this idea if you grew up in the religious Indian culture where sex before marriage is not approved of and even in a marriage often only seen as a means of conceiving, not of pleasure. I would also say that a school would not be the right place for teenagers to be taught how to have intercourse. However even those who follow this tradition and culture should understand that the real sex education, which is taught in many developed and civilized countries around the world, would be good for everyone, also for married couples!
First of all, the biology class about the sexual organs and their internal processes takes place. I think many people, also in India, agree that it is good if we all know our bodies. Teachers explain about menstruation, how and why it takes place. Then they also explain how conception takes place. Children and teenagers learn where children come from, instead of believing tales of their grandmothers about birds and bees or about children being sent from God’s home. They get to know about contraceptives, which different kinds there are and what effects they have. They are told which sexually transmitted diseases occur and how they can protect themselves from them. Women get to know that it is normal and recommended to go and see a gynecologist regularly to get check-ups. And boys learn that night discharge is normal in their teenage time and not a disease that they would need to worry about.
And believe me, teachers in western countries don’t have sex with their students in the classroom during those sex education lessons and they don’t ask children to do practical exercise, either!
This much about what sex education is and is not. In the next days I will discuss further why it makes sense to educate our children in this way.