The need for comprehensive sex ed in India

I acknowledge certain non-governmental organizations like SEK Foundation are working to introduce age-appropriate sex education programs in some schools and states. However, comprehensive sex education has yet to be adopted nationally in India.

Living away from India has opened my eyes to more progressive attitudes. But growing up in India, I was never taught about relationships, consent, and my own body in a holistic manner.

Issues around consent within relationships are too often seen as restricted to legalities rather than emotional well-being. Broader discussions on sexuality are still not common, even among friends. The stigma attached prevents the sharing of experiences that could promote healthier attitudes.

Reports show how lack of sex education has grave social consequences like higher rates of sexual abuse, early pregnancy, and STDs. But the personal toll is also significant.

Many adults in India continue grappling with issues of body image, intimacy, and relationship dynamics due to the information void in their formative years. This affects their mental well-being and ability to lead fulfilling personal lives.

It is worrying that the situation seems unlikely to change shortly if the status quo is maintained. While other nations have moved towards comprehensive education models, some Indian states oppose the same under the guise of protecting culture. But does restricting awareness really help preserve core values or only perpetuate outdated taboos?

Authentic culture is not static and must adapt to rising challenges.

The UN and global health agencies have emphasized how sexuality education, when age-appropriate, empowers young people to understand consent, protect themselves, and maintain dignity. Given the social realities in India, this assumes even greater importance.

It is time policymakers pay heed to the priorities of wellness over politics or moral policing. The children in India deserve inclusive learning environments that nurture their development without stigmas. Only then can new generations experience relationships and intimacy in a safe, equal, and fulfilling manner.

#education #society