Sex Education: A must for all – be it 4 or 40 year olds!

 

Nandini Arora is an aspiring actuary who loves to write. Although married to numbers, her first love has always been books and writing. She regularly writes about issues such as women’s safety, Feminism, LGBTQ etc. on her blog nandiniaroraweb.wordpress.com.

Sex Education: A must for all – be it 4 or 40 year olds!

Our culture does not consider it proper to say ‘sex’ out loud. Heck, it’s inappropriate to even acknowledge its existence! Very few of us actually received sex education in school or even the informal and awkward ‘talk’ from our parents. All the sex education we get is from Bollywood movies and porn – both of which are the last places you should look for any sort of education.

It is this, lack of general knowledge about sex, that leads to awkwardness during consensual sex. In other cases, the inability to understand consent or even the fact that sex is an act of consent is one of the main reasons of rape. What we fail to understand about sex education is that, it’s much more than simply a 30 second lesson on sexual intercourse. When sex education teaches you about sex, it also teaches you the difference between sex and rape! It teaches you about consent and the importance of asking permission. You learn about protection and birth control and the difference between the safe and unsafe – something which is the need of the hour.

Sex education not only makes you more responsible towards sex, but also protects you from becoming a victim to sexual harassment or from becoming a harasser yourself. When you learn about consent, you’re taught to know when it’s rape. You learn where the line of friendly flirting ends and sexual harassment begins. It is important for both boys and girls to know which words or actions are acceptable and which aren’t. Learning the difference between the ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ touches helps you make sure you know your limits so that you don’t ever victimise someone in addition to knowing when to raise alarm if it happens to you.

It is this knowledge of ‘safe touch’ and ‘unsafe touch’ that helped a young 4 year old to understand what was happening to her wasn’t right. At the same time, it was lack of the same knowledge, that made a molester out of a 4 year old child. When he put a sharpened pencil and his finger inside her, it was his lack of knowledge about what he was doing that he did not realise that he had just sexually harassed his classmate. He had probably seen someone do it somewhere and without understanding what it was, decided to try it on his friend. Had he been open to his parents, and talked to them about it and had they explained it to him gently, without freaking out, he would have been more responsible of his actions.

Our culture has created a wall of taboo around the subject. Be it periods, sex, condoms or masturbation- the awkwardness and restriction has left our youth uninformed and prone to not only sexual crime, but also exposed us to unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, the risk of both of which, only increases with the way they are received by the society.

Opinions are of the writer.

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