Friday, June 27, 2008

Sex education in schools (links)


I hit upon this discussion forum on India together.

At various points I have witnessed discussions on ideas like pre-marital sex, sensuality and its relation to Indian culture. Divorce rates are used as an indicator to show breakdown of cultural ethos and the traditional family by conservatives while liberals see it as a gauge of independence or rights.

Here are more articles/reading material I found:

1. HIV/AIDS awareness and discrimination of HIV +ve children (This is related to sex education, because teachers are themselves perpetrators of such discrimination and are insensitive to the realities of the disease)

2. Child Sexual Abuse (A taboo topic anywhere in India. But, work done by Thulir show how it can be battled. They are one of the few organizations struggling against this issue. The education aspects that they focus on are for 'parents', 'teachers' and finally 'students')

3. Articles on 'Sex education and state/moral action against it'

4. What is Sex education?
Here is a doctor's advice for parents on tough questions -

5. A more comprehensive article on India together on 'Sex Education' -


A recent report in Indian Express about a survey by International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai and Population Council, New Delhi: February 19, 2008
Youth want Sex Education: Survey Study by IIPS reveals lack of comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS

An article on Sex Education in AVERT website (charity organization that works on AIDS/HIV in Africa and India)


I knew that sex abuse of minors in India is fairly common, but had no idea it was this prevalent, from

The Delhi-based Sakshi Violation Intervention Centre in a 1997 study that interviewed 350 school children, found that 63 per cent of the girl respondents had been sexually abused by a family member; 25 per cent raped, and over 30 per cent sexually abused by the father, grandfather or a male friend of the family. A 1999 study by the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences revealed that 58 of the 150 girls interviewed had been raped before they were 10 years old. RAHI, a Delhi-based organisation that provides support to victims of sexual abuse, reports that of the 1,000 upper and higher-middle class college students interviewed, 76 per cent had been abused as children, 31 per cent by someone known to the family and 40 per cent by a family member, and 50 per cent of them before the age of 12.

When surveys consistently reveal that more than 50% of girl children are sexually abused, it is astounding that so many men have gotten away with this. And the fact that this remains suppressed means that mothers and other female relatives, by their silence and inaction on this, are in effect accomplices for these crimes.

We should really fight for including meaningful sex education (being careful not to bring in wishy-washy stuff about Indian culture and pre-marital sex, or the dangers of "unnatural" sex etc). But even before that, we should ask Asha, AID etc to talk seriously about these issues to all schools they work with and see if extra lessons for sex education can be imparted...


Here is a link on how victims of child sex abuse are helped in the US (
The adults have a huge responsibility in the prevention of this crime (


Anita and I had visited Puvidham in May. Including some parts from the report:
... We next went to the hostel. There was a caretaker, a teacher and an elder student working on cleaning and drying some of the organic produce. The hostel itself is a two-story building. The girls are in the lower floor and the boys in the upper. The staircase runs from inside the first room. Given that there are adolescents among both the boys and girls this a remarkable setup. Organizations have had a lot of trouble with the elder boys and girls staying at the same location. Usually, organizations try to introduce morality and a sense that all the people living in the organization are their brothers and sisters, etc, but this rarely works. I found the approach adopted by Meenakshi of treating the elder children as adults, talking about the changes and hormones in their body openly and placing the trust on the children as refreshingly mature and felt happy that this approach has worked well in these hostels...

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