Should Sex Education Be Mandatory in Schools?

sex education India

The Kerala High Court recently ordered CBSE and the state government to issue necessary and appropriate orders making it mandatory for every school under their control and within the territory of Kerala to include a prevention-oriented program on sexual abuse as a mandatory part of the curriculum on August 26, 2022, while hearing a bail petition by the bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas.

The court made the directions while considering an application for regular bail in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl. The judge further stated that only comprehensive awareness campaigns regarding the harmful consequences of sexual offences might lead to the desired result of a sharp decline in the frequency of such crimes. It is the need of the society that a child is provided with an atmosphere to grow and blossom.

The demand for the need of sex education in India is not new. Many people have expressed their concerns about the necessity for sex education in the school curriculum. Still, the concept continues to be denied due to vehement opposition from the orthodox population and political hesitancy. Sex Education is a controversial topic among various experts. They disagree about whether it should be taught in schools. Today, there is a greater demand for sex education in schools because of the rapid development of information. Many people are in favour of the change, while others are against it. Others contend that school children are not mature enough to understand the implications of the topic. However, many people think that students are in the best position to be acquired sex education.

Sex education can be defined as programs offering comprehensive pieces of information about physical development, emotional relations, sexuality, contraceptive methods, how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases(STIs), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and reproductive tract infections (RTIs), the importance of consent, the gender identity, sexual dysfunction, sexual violence, puberty, menstruation, sexual orientation, infertility, unintended pregnancy, abortion, harmful practices (such as female genital mutilation, FGM), physical and social aspects of sexuality. We see Sexuality as an integral part of the human body. Thus, Children and young people have a right to gain accurate, thorough, scientifically based information about it.

Through sex education, Teenagers can gain a thorough understanding of their bodies and helps children psychologically and emotionally prepare for the physical changes that occur in adolescence. When young kids get to know about bodily changes, instead of making fun of their peers who are going through such bodily changes, they will be more respectful and responsible for understanding its normality. High school students who receive sexual education are better prepared for life events like puberty and menopause. It has been noticed that after girls knew about their first period, they did not experience astonishment, terror, or fear. Children will learn about recognizing the motives of bad people and how to avoid them through sex education in schools.

Teenagers will become more sexually aware and better equipped to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of sex early on. Sex education also aims to address safety and emotional concerns regarding sex and basic birth control and sexual consent. The majority of students are most likely to reject unwanted and unprotected sex. Lack of sex education from trustworthy sources leads to children seeking it out which might not be very safe.  Without this awareness, they may suffer from inappropriate sexual behaviour, strained relationships, and melancholy.

They can be shielded from all of these with proper sex education at school. Moreover, In rural India teen pregnancy rate is high. The proper education will control the teen pregnancy rate as well and prevent girls from consuming contraceptive pills without knowing its health hazards. Children can now access pornography extremely easily because of technological advancement. They could end up in the wrong social circle and have their lives ruined if they are not properly instructed.

It is the responsibility of parents, teachers and the government to create sexual awareness among teenagers, the most vulnerable parts of society. However, Since parents find it uncomfortable to discuss sex with their children, it creates more burden of responsibility on the schools to give the proper instruction. In contrast to social media or any other source, school is the only appropriate location to provide information about sex and sexual protection techniques. It also protects teenagers and young children, making it the most beneficial for them. Additionally, it has been shown that women and children are more likely to experience sexual assault in daily life, particularly if they are not given access to sex education. To maintain sexual health and well-being, sexual education is crucial.

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