Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Why Does Using the Word *Sex* in Public Come with a ‘Sssshhhh’?

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“Shhhhhh, don’t you ever use this word again in public.”

How many times have you heard this sentence? Quite often, right.

My English books taught me nouns, adjectives, tenses, and even vocabulary, but they never taught me about the words I wasn’t allowed to speak in public. 

I always wondered which rule book informed us about the words to be used and not to be used. And who decides these things?  

By virtue of our science textbooks, most of us were introduced to the word ‘Sex.’ And I remember we were taught that chapter only for the sake of the syllabus and not with an intention to give sex education. 

Our mouths are often shut when we try to talk about relationships, sex, menstruation, same-sex couples, and even rape. No doubt that there are various legal provisions dealing with these issues. But what about the ideology of society? It is completely lagging behind. 

Sex is a fundamental thing that should be discussed in every household, but rather it is considered immoral. 

Have you ever pondered that how it is ok to have sex behind the four walls but not ok to talk about it? It is difficult to understand this double-faced society. 

On the one hand, people consider it immoral to use the word ‘sex,’ and on the other, they themselves enjoy such activities. India’s population is a proof of this fact. 

The loopholes can also be traced in our upbringings because we learn what we’re taught, and it’s since childhood we have noticed the silence on such topics, and if one tries to initiate such conversation, the topic is mostly turned away. 

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The Importance of Sex Education in Youth

However, currently, we live in a time where a large part of the population has access to technology and the internet. The youth these days are very keen and curious to know everything. The answers which society fails to give are often Googled. 

In this situation, it becomes even more important to educate and have such conversations with young generations. This will not only prevent them from taking impulsive actions driven by desire but will also give them insight into their physical and sexual health.

Modernization can only upgrade the material things but not the mentality of people. Many people believe that sex education is a western influence that corrupts the Indian culture and can spoil the country’s youth. 

It’s hard to make people realize that rather than being ashamed of using this word, they should be ashamed of people involved in violent sexual crimes. 

Let’s see what stats have to say:

According to the National Crime Records Bureau report, there were around 28,046 rape cases in India in 2020. Not only that, this mindset has exposed many people to STI/Ds, including HIV, menstrual hygiene-related infections, and unintended pregnancies. Sex education helps people identify their sexuality and have healthy sexual relationships. 

Maslow’s theory of needs states that sex is one of our essential psychological needs, and there’s nothing to feel bad about it. Humans are social animals, and they can’t live by bread alone, and it’s completely fine to have sexual relationships. 

For how long can society silence people? 

The more one tries to suppress such topics, the more you will witness a rise in crimes. This makes it important to provide sex education to people so that they are well versed with their limitations and conscious about their health.

Though sex is still a ‘hush-hush’ thing in India, the youth of today is smart enough. They not only question things but also try to find the answers to them. They’re well aware of the fact that growth comes not only with learning new things but also unlearning unnecessary and irrational beliefs and ideas.

Moreover, standing against the hush culture, various organizations like Pratisandhi, Iesha Learning, Our Voix, and many others are trying to spread the word about sex education and create public awareness around sexual and reproductive health. It conducts training, develops publications, participates in public awareness and education initiatives.

Wrapping Up!

We live in the 21st century, where technology controls each aspect of our lives, and the youth is much more sensible and savage. Technology has built a platform where people come across each other and exchange their views and opinions. 

Mass communication has given a blow to stereotypes by spreading awareness. Those outdated rules have no space in this fast-developing world. It’s the time to bid adieu to ‘shhhhh’ and welcome freedom of speech.

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