Major Pitch For Introducing Sex Education in TN Schools

In bid to mitigate child abuse, Indian Sexology Association bats for textbook on subject

CHENNAI: The Indian Association for Sexology will soon approach the Tamil Nadu School Education department to teach ‘Life Skill Education’ (sex education) in schools. The move will be a huge step towards mitigating the risks of child abuse, which are reported from across the country. 

Speaking to the Express on the sidelines of the eighth International Conference on Sexlogy here on Saturday, Dr T Kamaraj, chairman of the association, said that they were already in the process of designing a textbook for the purpose. “It is being designed with suggestions from interdisciplinary experts including educationists and psychologists and also parents,” he said.

The association, which has been conducting a study for two years on how children are aware of the subject, has found that more than 80% are clueless. “Among all the students from class 9 to 12 surveyed, about 80 per cent have no knowledge of sex education. Child sexual abuse cases are reported from every part of the country. But not many children under the age of 5 even knew about what is good touch and bad touch,” said Dr Denzil, a member of the association.

While the association has been pressing the government, schools and universities to include ‘Life Skill Education’ in educational institutions for years, nothing has materialised yet. “Its introduction in the curriculum is not going to happen soon. Various sexology associations have already researched and designed books according to the age group of children. For instance, for classes 4 and 9, the topics will differ. We will take this content while designing books to be given to the school education department,” Dr Kamaraj said, adding that the books would cover lessons on anatomy, physiology and also behaviour changes.

Sex and discussions on the subject are still taboos in Indian society. This factor, say sexologists, is leading to children gaining knowledge of it through improper channels. “Parents don’t want to educate children on sexual, behavioural, hormonal and physical changes that they undergo at their adolescent age. So children get excited about these behavioural changes because they are ignorant about the subject,” Dr. Kamaraj pointed out.

The two-day conference was inaugurated by Dr S Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University and saw sexology experts from various countries participate, including Professor P Ganesan Adaikan, secretary-general of the World Association for Sexual Health.

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The New Indian Express