Lately the topic of banning sex education has been up for debate in Delhi, India. Ministers known for their controversial views such as Harsh Vardhan have recently made headlines suggesting this ban of sexual health teachings from the schools in the area. With this came very angry parents and counselors from the local schools suggesting this ban should not be debated and would prove detrimental instead, given the exposure that current students and children have to the internet. Following the negative responses, Vardhan was quoted saying he was only against vulgarization (the act of making something attractive to general public) of sexual education as a subject and not the concept of gender sensitization among students. However, teachers and counselors of local Delhi schools stated that ‘vulgarity’ was in the way the system was choosing to approach the topic calling sex education a much needed investment to sway students away from negative internet sources relating to sexual health.
With this debate, Aanchal Tuli followed up with numerous individuals who stand against the ban of sexual health teachings. Tuli writes that sexual health may never be an enjoyable conversation for a child to have with their mother or father but is essential for a child in living a responsible and safe life. Arti Raghuvanshi, a clinical psychologist with schools and hospitals explains students comfort to discuss sexual relations with parents would not be possible without their current access of the information taught as young as class VI (or 6th grade)
Prabhjot Bhutalia, a senior at Goenka Public School enforces the idea that the schools even hire trained counselors from class VII onwards to talk about sexual subjects privately with students which, has since continued to receive positive feedback. He also mentions how acquiring the knowledge from a trained counselor teaches students to strive away from believing information online that is most often misleading.
Ameeta Wattal, principle of Springdales School adds that students of this internet-exposed generation need the right guidance more than ever and “this guidance should not be looked down upon” by local ministers such as Vardhan. From class VIII onward, students learn about biological reproductive systems and sex education is included in this section of their syllabuses.
“Taboo is in the head of the leaders, not teachers”, Ritu Schimer Dhingra (whom conducts sex education workshops) states. She argues that taboo on “sex education” is most common among leaders whom are okay with sessions on hygiene and wellbeing but not under the topic of ‘sex education’. She adds that the debate is “very contradicting” in that on one hand policy makers are willing to talk about sensitizing the youth to bring down juvenile crime and encourage equality, but on the other hand will not agree to talk to youth about how to do so.
To conclude the article from Times of India, multiple parents speak out that in the case of banning sex education, their children will become more wary of opening up. For Vivek Sharma, the concern is that when children become curious, they should have the ability to get answers from trained professionals of the field rather than “some anonymous website.”
Tuli, Aanchal . “Banning Sex Education Is Not a Solution .” The Times Of India , July 7, 2014, sec. Life and Style.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/parenting/Banning-sex-education-is-not-a-solution/articleshow/37900966.cms