The term ‘Sex Education’, is widely used to depict education about procreative system, sexual interaction and other facts of human sexual behavior. It is a practice of gaining knowledge and developing mind-set as well as ideas about sex, sexual identity, human relations, closeness, gender roles, contraception methods and prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). It is also an effective way to respect one’s partner along with acceptingones sexual preference. The misconceptions about facts related to the above topics are commonly kept under the wraps and should be discussed openlyto makepeoplemore aware about the necessity for sex education in this rapidly changing era.
One of the misconceptions that need to be clarified in our country is that sex education does not teach children how to have sex at an early age; rather it teaches them about the psychological, physiological, and social aspects of leading a healthy sexual life in the future. This incorporates not only the physical act of sex, but also: gender identity, physical changes, consent, awareness about sexual abuse, birth control measures, and prevention of AIDS and STDs. The lesson that Indian societyneed to take from sex education is‘Prevention is better than cure’. Experts say that the case for sex education in India is quite different from the West. According to the National Family Health Survey conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International in 2005-06 in all the states of India, 12% of women aged between 15-19 years are mothers. The survey also said that one in six Indian women aged 15-19 start to have children.India is a country with the highest rate of population growth in the world and surprisingly one of the highest rates of teenage pregnanciesand HIV/AIDS infection. The reports also show a shockingly high rate of sexual abuse cases towards children and adults. Hence, it is very important to understand and analyze the reason behind it. One of the reasons for this is the reluctance to educate our youth about their bodies, their sexual needs, and the meaning and importance of safe sexual practices. The problem with Indian society is the barrier of Indian culture, moral values and traditional practices. Our culture does not teach what rape is, our traditions do not educate the youth about sexual health issues, and the consequences of early pregnancy.
Awareness of sex isone of the significant factors necessary to lead a secure life in the future. Regular school curriculum prepares our children to learn about the world around us, excluding topics related to sex. A common question put forward by the societyis, whether it is necessary to have sex education as part of the curriculum. As stated above, sex educationteaches one about thephysiological, psychological, biological and social behavior of human beings. When children are in their teens, lack of sex education can give riseto many issues and if not corrected in a timely manner, it may give rise to immature decision making and inappropriate behavior in the future.