How we should teach young boys about periods

28 Apr 2018 #Menstruation

With the ongoing ‘Padman challenge’ where all the eminent personalities have started posing with pads in a bid to eradicate the taboo surrounding periods and pads, it is imperative to talk about the usage  and need of pads and breaking the stigma related to menstruation.

So let’s start by clearly pointing out that a period is not a ‘girls problem ’. Biologically, yes it might only happen to females but this phenomenon eventually gives women the supreme right to produce offspring. Having babies is not a ‘one person  only task’ hence it is imperative to let boys understand every aspect of the menstrual cycle hitting a girl every month and on a broader perspective about what a girl goes through while analyzing the roles males have to play in making a women comfortable when she goes through ‘those days’.

Persistent efforts over the social media can surely help in generating awareness and having ‘a room for discussion’ about periods. But that just might be a section of ‘urban privileged girls’ daring to break all myths. What about the real pain and discomfort that the majority rural underprivileged girls go through? Having absolutely no knowledge [resources a well] about what a menstrual cycle actually means.

We can ensure that the right guidance reaches to the people who are marred by social and economic constraints, so in order to do that we need to step out of the superficial world of likes, comments and tweets and work on the grassroots levels. Let’s reach out to the boys and girls living in dingy houses, in the dirty lanes, near the cramped roads to initiate talks , to make girls and boys sit together [that’s how the discomfort will disappear eventually] and tell them about vagina, that it bleeds, every month, it is natural. Ask boys to help their mothers, sisters and friends in their daily chores if she’s menstruating because that’s the super women week and they shouldn’t be made to work hard during that time.  

Legitimate sex education in schools has been a long disputed case which needs to be addressed sensitively as sex education not only provides a holistic orientation on topics such as puberty, sex and sexuality but also help youngsters to generate a critical mindset towards planning parenthood in the future and understanding that having a control over the population has exceeding benefits to individual selves and to the society as a whole.

The ‘concerned’ opinion that enforcement of sex education in schools  might compel teenagers to try outrageous acts such as sex is  grossly impractical. Is it sensible enough to not provide education to a child because hey, he/she might misuse what he’s learn? So  order  to avoid such  scenario let’s not corrupt our children by talking about safe sex, positive  body image and alternate sexual orientation but let them  consume ‘good values’ such as physical assaults , rapes and sex being a taboo, homosexuality being a menace and what not.

Parents have a very significant role to educate children  regarding  periods and initiating ‘healthy talking environment ‘ at homes and making efforts in simplifying natural processes to teenagers rather than brushing their doubts aside .A  very significant step might be making periods a familiar word rather than being a cursed one .

Let’s accept that we’ve been spreading all the wrong myths and that it is high time we empower our teens to understand that periods are no shame, bleeding between the thighs is normal and sex is not a taboo. PERIOD.

-By Pallak