oppn parties Our Teenagers Should be Educated About Sex to Keep Them Healthy

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Our Teenagers Should be Educated About Sex to Keep Them Healthy

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A new study shows that teenagers in urban India are experimenting with sex at a very early age. The study was conducted in the age group 13 to 19 and involved over 15000 respondents. It found that the average age when they first tried sexual acts had dropped to 13.72 years for boys and 14.09 years for girls.

If we go strictly by law, many of these kids will be termed criminals as the age of consent in India is 18 years.

Even if we ignore this, the other alarming aspect is that nearly nine percent of the respondents reported having contacted some form of sexually transmitted disease (STD) before they reached 19 years of age. They also reported almost negligible use of condoms and sexual hygiene. It is yet to be found out how many of these cases were of HIV/AIDS.

Are we bringing up a generation of teenagers who are legally criminals, have misconceptions about sex and are unhealthy?

Society has to account for changing sexual habits of teenagers. It has to discuss, debate and find a way around its puritanical views to introduce proper sex education in schools from Class VII (age of child 13 years) onwards, think about lowering the age of consent to 16 (which it was from 1982 to 2012) and petition the legislature to suitably amend existing laws like POCSO and IPC.

Indians girls reach puberty earlier that their Western counterparts. Even though there is less permissiveness in our country, easy access to television and internet means that both boys and girls are exposed to sexual material. When the demands of a growing body and access to sexually explicit material combine, the urge to experiment is huge. Some of it is also out of peer pressure.

The effect of half-baked information from friends, television and internet is playing havoc with their lives. They can carry the trauma of a botched up experiment with sex throughout life. Also, there is the concern of unwanted pregnancies. We need to educate them about sex, sexual hygiene, use of contraceptives, pregnancy and motherhood from the age when their bodies start giving them the urge to experiment with sex. It is urgent that we move forward from a few passages about intercourse and childbirth in biology books to proper sex education imparted by trained teachers.

Also, it is necessary to lower the age of consent to 16 so that the kids who experiment with sex are not branded as criminals and not harassed. The need to protect them from sexual offences can be addressed by having a provision that does not permit sex between a teenager and a person of opposite sex if the age difference between them is more than, say, 15 years. Hence, a 31 year old man would not be permitted to have sex with a 16 year old girl for there are matters of trust involved in that relationship. Children are subjected to sexual offences mainly by elders who gain their trust. But there should be freedom for them to experiment within a certain age band.