Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Via New America Media:
Editor's Note: Even though some 44 percent of reported AIDS cases in India occur among 15 to 29 year olds, sex education that promotes safe sex in public schools is facing major opposition from local governments. But this conundrum could be deadly for the country with the highest number of infection rates in the world. Viji Sundaram is New America Media's Health editor.
Back in the 1940s, when my mother was going to an all-girls Catholic school in southern India, the sex education she and her classmates received was limited to the importance of abstinence, with the nuns tiptoeing around the word ‘sex’. The girls, for their part, sat giggling, their eyes lowered to the floor.
In most schools in India, educators are still tiptoeing around the subject of sex, although there’s been a strong shift in the mindset of private school students, who are trying their best to force their teachers to get sex out of the closet – especially because their own parents won’t. After all, these kids have seen and heard it all – on the Internet, in salacious music videos, Bollywood movies and even on temple carvings. They know it’s their country that gave the world the Kama Sutras. So what’s all the fuss about?