Even in the United States, sexual health and education can be a very controversial topic, especially in schools. It is interesting when we think of how liberal America is when it comes to these topics, and that if it is controversial in the US, it must be extremely taboo and forbidden in conservative and traditional cultures like India. What most people don’t realize is that even though it goes against culture, doesn’t mean that sex isn’t occurring. The problem here is that people are not aware and do not engage in safe sex practices. This leads to many problems such as sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS, as well as unplanned pregnancies and other unwanted complications.
It is not only medical doctors and researchers that are searching for ways to combat the problem of HIV in India, a country with one of the highest HIV and AIDS rates in the world today, but also anthropologists, politicians, public health workers, and economists. I found an interesting article discussing the research of two women, Helen Lambert and Kate Wood, who are studying the cause and effect of this problem in India. They are looking first at the way sex is communicated in this society, by means of private conversation and public sexual education. Next, they are looking at the way that sexual desire and intent is communicated between males and females. And lastly, they are looking at references to sexuality in terms of health and indigenous beliefs and practices custom to only India. By researching these topics, Helen and Kate will be able to find answers to the HIV problem in India. This will allow others to develop education methods that fit the culture and belief system of the Indian society, so that it is not seen as forbidden and controversial. If we can better understand their beliefs and desires, we can help them to live a healthy and happy life.
Lambert, Helen, and Kate Wood. “A Comparative Analysis of Communication about Sex, Health and Sexual Health in India and South Africa: Implications for HIV Prevention.”Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care7, no. 6 (2006): 527-41.