Growing up in an Indian culture, I am aware of why there are so many problems regarding sexual health in India on a first hand basis. Although I grew up in America, one of the main differences I noticed growing up in Western culture, while being surrounded with Indian cultural beliefs at home, is the topic of sex. The topic of sex is extremely taboo in Indian culture, and this has caused many sexual health issues in India. While much of America’s youth is not sexually educated, imagine a whole country where only a select few are aware of the implications of having sex, what it can cause, how to have safe sex, and how to prevent disease. Unlike America, sexual education is not part of the curriculum in Indian schools, and it is taboo to talk about it with your parents. Therefore, most of the sexual education young people receive comes from the internet, which can obviously be largely false, or their peers, who have no factual resources either. However, there are organizations that have been established recently to provide more factual information to the people of India. For example, an organization called TARSHI (Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues) directly aims to “expand sexual and reproductive choices in people’s lives in an effort to enable them to enjoy lives of dignity, freedom from fear, infection and reproductive and sexual health problems.” It is a registered NGO in New Delhi, India that conducts trainings, develops publications, and raises public awareness and education initiatives in order to educate people in India about sexual health.
Anthropologist Dr. Paul Boyce did extensive research in India on men’s sexual health, mainly homosexual men. He explored ways in which “sexualities between men were conceived and represented in HIV prevention discourse and practice as contracted to the lived, day to day experience of male-to-male intimacy.” His research started out from his interest in sexual and gendered subjectivities.
Link to his website: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/anthropology/people/peoplelists/person/285569
Boyce, Paul. “Department of Anthropology.” Paul Boyce : People : … : Anthropology : University of Sussex. Accessed August 8, 2014.
“Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues.” TARSHI. Accessed August 8, 2014.