‘Teachers must give sex education in schools’

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India, July 3, 2005 – Tribune India

Ludhiana, July 2
Tall, lithe and pretty 13-year-old Sheena ‘s life lay in a heap of ruin as to her horror and her parent’s horror too, a painful discovery was made that she was pregnant. The family was shattered. Actually Sheena was friendly with a school mate and since she was ignorant about sex , she was lured into sexual exploits with that boy.

There are many teenagers who get pregnant out of ignorance and face serious consequences of pre-marital sex. Some are vilified and raped and become pregnant . Either the parents take them for abortions or the child delivered is thrown at birth time ( as reported in the media) or given for adoption. But the fact remains that while the boy goes scot free, the girl ‘s future lies shattered both emotionally and mentally.

Ms P. Singh, a retired teacher of Convent School, says .”Sex education is the need of hour. Young children after puberty become very curious about sex. As it is they are getting very suggestive but incorrect information regarding sex from their friends, television advertisements and some scenes from movies. Their curiosity is aroused but they do not know whom to go to and thus land in trouble while experimenting . If they are taught in schools and have correct perspective and knowledge about sex, they will not get caught in any trap. Education has become more relevant with the dreadful diseases AIDS gripping young persons.”

Similar views were shared by Mr Lakhwinder, a lawyer. He said,”I feel the students of Class X and above must be given knowledge about sex. The boys sometimes get sexually transmitted diseases and go to quacks for treatment as these quacks display boards saying that they are ‘specialists in sexual diseases’. The boys get half baked information from their friends. They cannot discuss their problems either with their families or teachers as ‘sex’ is taboo and still considered a dirty word. Hence the students must get correct knowledge in schools. Biology teachers could teach about it or Moral Science teachers should teach about the sanctity of sex.”

Ms Pooja , a post graduate student , says, “Yes, we should be told about true facts about sex. As we are growing, hormonal changes in our bodies are taking place and we do not understand the needs of our body . We do not know whom to turn to. Sometimes concerned teachers caution us to safeguard ourselves from the people we know as she said that 70 percent of molestations and rapes are committed by the known people. Generally she said that protectors only become predators. I have found her advise to be helpful and feel lucky that I have a teacher who was bold enough to familiarise us with the hard realities of life. So I feel that all girls should be made aware of the pitfalls of being lured into sexual relations.

Vidhu, a mother of two teenaged daughters, says,” After the MMS scandal of a girl of Delhi Public School, Delhi, I do get nightmares about my daughters, I have spoken to my daughters about this delicate topic ‘sex’. But I feel they would feel more comfortable if they were addressed by their teachers. With more and more young people acquiring AIDS , it is of paramount importance that students should have clear cut ideas of consequences of wanton sex. Since society is getting more permissive, the interaction between the two sexes is increasing , and hence I feel both boys and girls should know everything about sex. Boys of my friends have acquired STD as their friends pushed them to experiment sex with prostitutes. Since we are getting so open about everything , so why should sex be wrapped under covers.”