Sex Education and the never-ending controversy!

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By Education Today

Posted on April 9, 2022


5 min read

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Sex Education and the never-ending controversy!

“That was a bad touch. Therefore uncle is guilty. I can differentiate between good touch and bad touch. It was taught at school”- testifies a 9-year-old, who was abused by a 54-year-old man. The molestation happened on November 26, 2020, at the boy’s house in Thumba, Trivandrum and man was a domestic help at their house and he molested the boy twice. It was the 9-year-old boy who asked his parents to complain to the police and his statement at the Trivandrum Special Fasttrack Court led to the conviction of the man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act and was sentenced to five years. The incident caught social media attention, specifying the importance and benefits of sex education. It was the sex education he received from school that helped him identify it as a bad touch and seek help.

“If we didn’t talk, we would be like ostriches burying our heads in the sand”, Germeen Riad, (Child Protection Advisor, US) speaks about the necessity of sex education. The purpose of sex education is to facilitate the best possible integration between the physical, emotional and mental aspects of the personality, and the best possible assimilation between the individuals and the groups. It gives clear understanding about one’s body, rights, sexuality, sexual health, healthy sexual relationships and consent. It is the misconception about sex education that makes it a controversy with a never-ending uneasy debate.

In 2007, when the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) introduced a scheme for adolescent education programme, it became a controversy. The opponents demanded a ban of sex education in schools, saying it’ll tarnish Indian values and corrupt Indian youth. Among other states which banned AEP, Kerala also said the content was unacceptable. Even after 15 years, little has changed. Though the Government of Kerala has its own initiatives for sex education in schools, it should go beyond releasing short films seminar talks. When the Chairperson of Kerala Women’s Commission, Adv. P Sathidevi remarked about making Sex education part of basic curriculum after there were recurring incidents of murder of girls following rejection of relationship, cyber-warriors demanded a practical session and pregnancy ward in schools! The social media reaction to her reflection itself shows the need for sex education.

A survey was conducted among people aged between 15 and 60 in order to gain views on Sex Education, in Kerala. They were asked several questions regarding sex education to get a glimpse of public views. To the question whether they received any kind of sex education, a major portion (43.9%) of participants answered “No, found out on my own”. Such self-gained knowledge can be flawed and wrong as it comes from improper sources like media, internet and friends. Though the other section said yes to sex education at school, it is in fact just one chapter in biology: Reproduction in Animals, which gave them knowledge on puberty for males and females. Rather than the erroneous knowledge, it is the consequences that we should be worried of and therefore, we need a proper, accepted source of this kind of knowledge – which must be schools.

Sex Education and the never-ending controversy

When 100% of the respondents agreed that sex education was important, 12% of thembelieved that sex education might lead to early sexual debut. The Covid-19 also gave way to a “shadow pandemic” due to an alarming increase in
domestic violence.  In May 2020, increase in domestic violence complaints in red zone districts was 131% higher than green zone districts with fewer restrictions. Though the number of women who respond and report domestic violence and marital rape has increased in the last five years, the matter is turned down at most homes, only because the awareness is less. With proper apprehension, we would be speaking up for Rincy (Veena Nandakumar) who faced marital rape from Sleevachan (Asif Ali) in Nissam Basheer’s debut movie “Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha”.

Sex Education and the never-ending controversy

The above chart shows the progressive notions of people towards sex education. Proper sex education helps us to eliminate sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, misconceptions about reproductive organs, empowerment against sexual violence, etc. Giving proper sex education to the right mindsets will eventually lead to a decline in sexual crimes and offenses. It is time that we stop burying our heads in sand, ignoring whatever happens around. Instead, start talking about it!

An article by Mercy Anna Mathew

Student, MA Education,

University of Birmingham


Express News Service. (2022, January 18). Man jailed after 9-year-old testifies about “bad touch.” The
New Indian Express.

Riad, G., & Forden, C. (2021). “If we didn’t talk, we would be like ostriches burying our heads in the
sand”: Attitudes toward sexuality, gender, and sex education among child protection social
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Shah, M., & Ravindran, S. (2020). Unintended Consequences of Lockdowns: COVID-19 and the
Shadow Pandemic *.

Tripathi, N., & Sekher, T. V. (2013). Youth in India Ready for Sex Education? Emerging Evidence from
National Surveys. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e71584.