Sex Education in India for School Students

Sex education is not just an option but also a necessity for teens nowadays. Children past the puberty stage need to be informed not only about body parts and the reproductive system. They are supposed to learn something deeper about relationships and safe sex, as these will teach them how to act responsibly when the time comes.

Sex Education for Kids

CBSE educationKids eight years old and below are supposed to learn something about sexuality. They need not know everything right then and there, but they sure require satisfactory answers to their questions. Kids of this age are naturally curious and they must have decided to throw at least one at their parents. But unfortunately, not all parents are there for their kid’s inquiries. Some kids may have only one parent. Some have none at all. And more sadly, some have at set of parents who fails to understand what it means to give their children the right amount of attention.

But whichever the case, kids here are the different things kids aged 3 to 8 years old have to learn about sex and their sexuality:

1. Boys and girls are different. There are certain body parts that are exclusive to boys and there are parts that only girls have. Basically, they are called the reproductive organs. And because they are still kids, these body parts are not yet fully developed. But as they begin to grow, several changes are expected. These changes are normal, and so there’s no need to be afraid.

2. Puberty is the start of adulthood. The changes are going to be apparent as one enters into puberty. The exact age of puberty cannot be determined as it varies from one person to another. Some kids enter into it as early as 8 years old. But generally, it happens between 10 to 12 years of age. At which point, the body suddenly grows very fast.

3. Basic Changes In Boys. Boys tend to grow 4 inches taller in a matter of just a year. And to complement this growth, their shoulders starts to widen and their bodies become a lot muscular as well. Their voice suddenly becomes deeper. Their genitals are enlarged too. Pubic hair will start to grow and mustache is expected. Boys would also experience spontaneous erections at this point.

4. Basic Changes in Girls. Girls will develop during puberty as well. Girls usually gain a little bit more weight and their hips starts to widen. Their breasts will begin to develop too. In two years time, girls are going to have their regular menstrual cycle. Girls, and boys too for that matter, will begin to notice acnes developing in their faces.

5. Emotional changes. Because hormones cause these changes, emotional changes are also anticipated. Emotional outbursts, confusion, the feeling of being sad and alone, very strong emotions, and mood changes all happen. These are but normal. But just the same, if any of these emotions seems to be out of proportion, it is always good to consult with a health professional.

Why You Should Teach Your Children About Sex

CBSE educationA lot of people, and even cause-oriented groups, believe that children should be taught about sex and their sexuality in an early age. But as kids, what really is in it for them? How can you gain from it as parents? And what good does sex education can give to your children?

Sex education is a very important subject that every child has to be aware of. The concept of the child’s sexuality needs to be inserted sometime in their life, most preferably before they reach puberty. And it does not only prepare them for the adult life ahead. It also makes them a better person with the right values in the process.

Schools have now adapted sex education to become part of their curriculum. This is how important the subject has been since it is first introduce several years back. Today, all schools take it as part of their duty to provide every student the right information about sex and to inculcate in them the right beliefs, attitudes, and ideas about their identity, sexuality, and intimacy.

But sex education is not all about relationship and intercourse. Teaching it also includes the stages of a person’s physical development, his body image, gender roles, and even his emotions. It is the topic that teaches the younger ones about how they came to be, the way they are expected grow, and their ability to reproduce offspring themselves.

Another important point why sex education needs to be taught to children is to make them aware of the things that will happen within themselves and their social world. Sex education will take away the ignorance that can lead young adults to commit errors in their judgments as far as coupling and sexual interaction are concerned. With proper sex education, the incidence of teen pregnancy and irresponsible parenthood can be controlled.

Sex education will not only enrich the minds of your children. It will also boost their confidence and self-esteem, which consequently, a lot of youngsters seem to lose as they enter puberty. Those without adequate learning about the changes happening in their bodies end up being either afraid or confused about the situation they are facing. And if this dilemma is not addressed right away, the child may grow up shy and intimidated amidst other people.

With all these said, it is a must that sex education start at home. Parents should take it upon themselves to inform their children in a subtle and low-key manner what sex and sexuality is all about. This is quite fitting, as almost all children tend to be very curious about themselves and the world they live in. And surely at one point in their life, they are going to ask a lot of questions about themselves and the things around them. As parents, you should take that as an opportunity to introduce sex education to your kids.

What Kids Should Learn In Sex Education

Debates go on and on as to whether to teach children about safe sex or to influence them toward sexual abstinence as they go through their young adulthood life. While several groups and advocates still can’t make up their minds, there are some basic things kids and teenagers have to know first.

First off, kids have to be taught about their sexuality and the body parts that are gender specific. It is also important to teach them what changes they can expect in the near future or when they reach the puberty stage. Teaching them the roles and functions of each body part will also serve as a good framework in teaching them about the reproduction process.

Young kids are likely to ask how they were born and how they came to be. These are good signals as to when parents can introduce to their kids about the reproduction system and the process of conception. Depending upon their ages, parents can thoroughly explain every stage and what exactly happens in each of them.

And once it is clear to the children the idea of how babies came to be, the concepts of love, courtship, and intimacy come next. These concepts anticipate the child’s social interactions, mostly to the persons of the opposite sex. It is okay to tell children that some emotions are normal. An open communication between child and parent is necessary, especially when they reach this point. Children past the puberty stages are expected to undergo first hand experiences about relationships. Parental guidance is very important.

Teenagers past the age of puberty will already have well-developed bodies and are most of them are likely to go out in dates and other social gatherings. This is actually where the debate as stated previously needs to be settled. And the only persons who can decide which is best for their children are their own parents. If parents feel that abstaining from sexual relations at an early age is best for their kids, it is imperative that the value of doing so is inculcated in them. If on the other hand, they favor the use of contraceptives, they should always be there to explain why and when they should be used.

Sex education does not necessarily have to be taught in one go. It is a gradual and evolving process, mostly to make sure that what parents teach their children are up to the times and are highly accurate. The schools and the community the children belongs to are now actively participating in the process of teaching young adults about sexual health. Parents are not alone anymore in tackling this rather difficult and awkward topic. Then again, it is still the parents’ responsibility and the teenager’s duty to make sure that they receive and accept only the right information about it.

Effective school-based sex education

CBSE educationSchool-based sex education can be an important and effective way of enhancing young people's knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. There is widespread agreement that formal education should include sex education and what works has been well-researched. Evidence suggests that effective school programmes will include the following elements:

  • A focus on reducing specific risky behaviours;
  • A basis in theories which explain what influences people's sexual choices and behaviour;
  • A clear, and continuously reinforced message about sexual behaviour and risk reduction;
  • Providing accurate information about, the risks associated with sexual activity, about contraception and birth control, and about methods of avoiding or deferring intercourse;
  • Dealing with peer and other social pressures on young people; providing opportunities to practise communication, negotiation and assertion skills;
  • Uses a variety of approaches to teaching and learning that involve and engage young people and help them to personalise the information;
  • Uses approaches to teaching and learning which are appropriate to young people's age, experience and cultural background;
  • Is provided by people who believe in what they are saying and have access to support in the form of training or consultation with other sex educators.

Formal programmes with these elements have been shown to increase young people's levels of knowledge about sex and sexuality, put back the average age at which they first have sexual intercourse and decrease risk when they do have sex. All the elements are important and inter-related, and sex education needs to be supported by links to sexual health services, otherwise it is not going to be so effective. It also takes into account the messages about sexual values and behaviour young people get from other sources, like friends and the media. It is also responsive to the needs of the young people themselves - whether they are girls or boys, on their own or in a single sex or mixed sex group, and what they know already, their age and experiences.

Below are some News Articles on Sex Education in India !

  • CBSE: Sex education to start from kindergarten.
Newspaper IconSoon, there will be open discussions in classrooms about drug abuse, homosexuality and reproductive health. With adolescents becoming more and more vulnerable to drug and sexual abuse, CBSE is set to introduce from next year adolescent education in the curriculum for all classes from KG to XII. Named as Adolescence and Reproductive Sexual Health Programme (ARSH), it will address issues related to nutrition, health, hygiene, physical fitness and mental health besides drug abuse, reproductive and sexual health and HIV-AIDS. There will not be a separate subject on it but the topics will be covered through activity-based programmes. "Topics related to sexual changes at puberty, substance abuse, myths concerning the reproductive growth of a child and sexually transmitted diseases will be a part of the curriculum," said Usha Ram, principal, Laxman Public School, who was a member of the committee constituted to prepare the module.

  • No sex education please, it corrupts, and this is Maharashtra.
Newspaper IconThe CBSE’s efforts to introduce sex education in schools under its Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) has run into a wall in Maharasthra, where the state Government has succumbed to demands from MLAs and declared that not only will it ban all books on sex education that are part of the CBSE school syllabus, it will also not introduce the subject in Std X at schools following the state syllabus.

The decision comes in response to a demand from both Opposition and ruling party MLAs, some of who believe sex education can corrupt young minds.

Minister of State for School Education Hasan Mushrif announced the decision in the Assembly after the Opposition and Treasury benches held up copies of excerpts from the CBSE syllabus and demanded that the state refrain from introducing sex education in schools.

Some MLAs also waved copies of a state government-published booklet, Kishorawastha Jivan Kaushalya Karyakram, that instructs teachers on how to introduce sex education.

Even this demand, Mushrif conceded. “The booklet published by us is for use of teachers not students,” he said. “But we are withdrawing it. And as far as sex education books in CBSE schools are concerned, we’ll ban them they way we banned James Laine’s book (on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj). We will inform CBSE.”

The issue was raised in the House through a calling attention motion by Rajendra Patni (Shiv Sena) and others. They alleged that “western countries” had compelled the Centre to introduce sex education, which had the potential of “spoiling the younger generation”, in CBSE schools.

They demanded action against “such books” and also opposed the state government’s own efforts to introduce sex education. Though the minister circulated a written reply, they were not satisfied, so the minister made the announcement.

Many MLAs, from both sides, had rushed to the well of the House to demand immediate action, creating a din that prompted the Speaker to adjourn the Assembly for 30 minutes. The minister then announced the ban on the CBSE book and assured members the state itself won’t introduce sex education in schools following the state syllabus.

The controversy began, across many parts of the country, actually, after the Centre sent out a circular for immediate implementation of the Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) in all CBSE and state-syllabus schools. The uproar is over the handbooks, the flip-charts, and fact sheets, which are in fact meant for teachers, sent out as part of the programme.

  • Former HRD minister feels sex education corrupts kids

Newspaper IconFormer Human Resource Development minister Murli Manohar Joshi on Saturday exhorted parents to withdraw their children from CBSE schools, where sex education was being taught.

He also called for a national campaign to close down CBSE, if the government fails to withdraw its Adolescence Education Programme.

At a rally organised against sex education by the Siksha Bachao Andolan Samiti on Saturday, Joshi said educating children from 5 to 14 years of age about sex was wrong and it was necessary to stop it.

He viewed that sex education will transform student teacher relation into that of a man and a woman. “I think the government wants to import the western culture of sexual relation between student relation to India,” he said.

In this context, he said, parents should meet teachers and principals and tell them: “Agar sex education bandh nahi kiya, to na tum rahoge nahin tumara school (If you don’t stop teaching sex education neither will you remain nor will your school)”.

He said introduction of sex education was what multinationals did to create the desire for sex among teenagers to sell their products. “It is not sex education. It is education to sell condoms,” he alleged.

He cited the recent controversy over India’s HIV/AIDS figures falling from 57 lakh to 27 lakh. “These companies were behind the inflated figures,” he said. All speakers agreed with his point.

Joshi also feared that the HRD ministry’s sex education programme was aimed at breaking India’s family system and its ethos.

“I don’t know what Human Resource Development minister (read Arjun Singh) wants to do to this country. No religion will allow this. Not even Marxist. Only an anarchist can do that,” he alleged. He added that there was no need for a separate curriculum on sex education because “there is enough knowledge on sex and reproductive body functions in Biology taught in schools”.

Finding leaders from religious groups like Jamiat-Islami-Hind and leaders from Church at podium, Joshi called for a national alliance of all religious groups for a campaign to stop introduction of sex education.

“Even in Parliament, I found leaders cutting across political parties objecting to sex education programme,” he said, while asking the samiti to form a national level committee for the campaign.

The samiti has already written to teachers in Delhi stating that teaching sex education can land them in trouble.

The parents can book them for outraging the modesty of a woman or dishonouring a person carrying punishment upto two years, says a letter written by Dina Nath Batra, national convenor of the samiti.

  • Ban sex education, teach kids yoga: Ramdev

Newspaper IconAfter Maharashtra government’s reluctance to introduce sex education in schools last year, it is now Yog Guru Baba Ramdev’s turn to stir up the hornet’s nest.

According to Baba Ramdev, there should be a complete ban on sex education since students are unprepared for sex education.

“Children are not mature enough to understand how to use a condom and how to have a safe intercourse,” says Baba Ramdev.

But at a time when sexual crimes are on the rise in the city, experts in the state are questioning the legitimacy of demanding yoga training at the cost of sex education.

“How about teaching yoga as well as giving sex education to children. Why should they be deprived of one and given only the other,” HOD, Department of Sexual medicine, KEM hospital, Dr Rajan Bhonsale.

But the Baba believes in catching them young and it seems that after holding seminars in Delhi school.

He is out to convince parents in Mumbai that yoga will solve their fears of teen sexuality.

However, parents across the city also feel that sex education is an important part of education and should not be sacrificed for yoga classes.

And with parents demanding sex education themselves, it is high time the government and spiritual gurus lets go of their own hang-ups.

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