Sexual Health in India

Sexual education in India is a very debated topic. India’s new health minister, Harsh Vardhan, released a statement stating sexual education should be banned from schools. As an individual of South Asian decent, I have been raised with many of the ideals pushed by the Indian culture. My parents never talked to me about sex and even signing off on sexual education in the fourth grade was debatable. In India, sex is something that is taboo before marriage. Pornography is illegal and even recreational sex between married couples is looked down upon. At the same time, people around the world are going to have sex, including in the Indian subcontinent. Dr. Vardhan’s statements have been highly debated and looked down upon by individuals of the newer, educated Indian generation. A spoof video was made after his statements criticizing his remarks (Tomchak 2014).

An anthropological study by Moni Nag titled Sexual behaviors in India with risk of HIV/AIDs transmission touched on the topic of premarital sex and the lack of sexual education in India. Stated in the study, premarital sex did occur between high school and college students in India, but it was not as widespread as in western countries. Nag stated that the prominence of HIV/AIDs in India is directly correlated to the lack of proper sexual education in the country. There was also a large prevalence of sexual relations with prostitutes in India (male and female) thus resulting in higher rates of HIV/AIDs. As stated in the study, prostitution in India has been a profession in India for a very long time. Women are pressured in Hindu culture to stay loyal to their husbands, and this ideal has stopped extramarital sex from being a big deal in Indian society. At the same time, the lack of sexual education for the younger generations is presenting to be a problem. Sexism and rape are huge issues plaguing Indian society currently, and are issues that need to be changed. This change will happen with better sexual education.


Nag, Moni. “Sexual behaviors in India with risk of HIV/AIDs transmission.” Health Transition Review, vol 5 (1995): 293-305.

Tomchak, Anne-Marie. “The Problem with Sex Education in India.” BBC News. July 19, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2014.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Cherie Griffey says:

    I find it very interesting that India’s health minister, Harsh Vardhan, would want to ban sexual education from schools. Even though sex is looked down upon before marriage doesn’t mean that it is not happening within the Indian culture. Everyone should be knowledgeable about sex and what comes along with it when you engage in such activity. Pornography is illegal, married couples cannot have recreational sex and educating Indians about sex are very looked down upon. I understand that sex is sacred, but must it be kept a secret? The article about Sexual Behaviors in India with risk of HIV/AIDS Transmission was an interesting article. They did a study which found out that high school and college students are engaging in premarital sex. This article ties in the fact that HIV and AIDS is occurring in India so often because they are not given the right education to prevent it.
    I understand that the people in India are very strict on premarital sex and they want to remove any education about sex, but look at where it has gotten them now. Yes you do not want unmarried people engaging in such activities, but they are going to do it anyways at least grant them with the proper knowledge to protect themselves. Provide everyone in India with correct sexual education, just because they believe that unmarried people should not engage in sexual activities does not mean that they are going to obey.

Leave a Reply