With the Union health minister Harsh Vardhan’s comments that “Indian values” will save people from AIDS sparking an outrage (more so, laughter) against him, one cannot dismiss the vital role sex education plays in the lives of people.
Now, is sex education really the problem? No. The problem is that most people do not understand what sex education really means? Sex education does not mean talking about penis or vagina to your 3-year-old kid. It doesn’t require you to explain to your kid about the biological details of how he or she was born.
Sex education means creating awareness among your kids and imparting information in different ways to kids of different ages- for a better/safer world. Obviously, if your 13-year-old kid has heard Enrique’s song “Tonight, I’m fucking you”, he will have googled it by now or knows what the lyrics mean. So, how are parents going to control that information overload their kids are bombarded with? I’ll come to that in a bit.
Picture credit: Google
First, don’t dismiss sex education as something bad. “Sex” is a part of your life. (It’s okay if you do not want to talk about it. But, don’t give that ‘ewwww’ expression when you hear it or when someone utters that 3-letter forbidden word. This is 2014!)
Don’t say sex education will ruin your (Indian) culture. (Sorry, what culture are you talking about? You were born in this land of Kama Sutra. And, you were born after intercourse. FYI: Everyone is born that way. And, there’s no culture when you have sex. Period).
Sex education is not porn. (Repeat until you got that right.)
Sex education doesn’t make your kids vulnerable nor does it give them AIDS. (If you are teaching them something, teach it right. So, the same applies with sex education. AIDS? Seriously? They should know how to make sexual contact to get AIDS? So, please! Stop assuming now.)
So, how do you teach sex education?
Depending on the age of your child, teach what is required. For example: A 2-yr-old should know his or her private parts and that no one has the right to touch them. That too is sex education. (Not only penis and vagina, you pervert parents!)
Once you kids starts growing, increase the information necessary for the kid to know. (Before that, you should know how your kid absorbs the information. That means you should know your kid’s level of understanding. You could probably share this like a poem and connect it to him/her or in your own innovative way.)
Do not dismiss their doubts. (Kids hear anything/everything from ther peers at school or while playing or at some place outside. Don’t tell them it’s wrong and shut them up. Instead, tell them what is right and what is wrong and why it is wrong.)
Remember that your relationship with your kid should be such that he/she tells you about everything in his/her life openly. (Spend more time or give them the attention they require. No excuses there!)
If your kid throws tantrums, don’t dismiss it as bad behaviour. (Understand why he or she is doing that.)
If he/she doesn’t like staying with someone, find out why instead of venting out anger on them. (It might be a case of abuse. You never know!)
Finally, CONDOMS are for safe sex, Dr Harsh Vardhan. Tell the kids that when the age/time is right. The more you hide, the more they hide and the more unsafe and populated the world becomes. (We have enough population. Let’s not get ahead of China in population. We have other indicators to compete with).