Sex studies in school? No, say Elders

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 9.06.09
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New Delhi, June 9: No sex education, please, basic instincts don’t require learning.

A Rajya Sabha panel today suggested that sex education was unnecessary in schools as human instincts such as hunger, fear, greed and sex were inborn and there was no need to “stimulate” them out of turn.

Rather, the need was to groom schoolchildren on how to control the instincts and teach them the importance of restraint.

“Basic human instincts like food, fear, greed, coitus etc need not be taught; rather, control of these instincts should be the subject of education,” the report submitted by the Rajya Sabha committee on petitions said.

“But the present academic system incites stimulation of instincts, which is detrimental to the society. To focus Indian education on ‘instinct control’ should be an important objective, and for that the dignity of restraint has to be well entrenched in the education.”

The committee, headed by BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, gave its recommendations on a petition seeking a national debate to evolve a consensus on whether sex studies should be introduced in CBSE-affiliated schools from Class VI.

The petition, admitted by the Rajya Sabha on August 9, 2007, said that such a proposal by the HRD ministry had “shocked the conscience of all the culture-loving people of this country” and pleaded that implementation be withheld till a consensus was evolved.

It is not clear whether schools have introduced sex education or what stage of implementation the proposal is at. Reports said some schools had introduced the lessons.

The committee on petitions today appeared to go along with the petitioners, citing Indian culture and ethos as one more reason not to introduce sex education in schools.

“Our country’s social and culture ethos are such that sex education has no place in it,” the report said.

The HRD ministry had argued that the idea was “adolescence education” and not “sex education”. Moreover, the lessons were not meant for children of primary classes but for secondary and higher secondary-level students (Classes IX-XII) between the ages of 15 and 18, it had said.

Some other recommendations made by the panel are:

a) Schoolchildren should be given the “message” that sex before marriage is immoral, unethical and unhealthy;

b) Chapters on “Physical and mental development in adolescents”, HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases should be removed from the school curriculum and included in biology textbooks at the Plus Two stage;

c) The curriculum should include appropriate material on the lives and teachings of saints, spiritual leaders, freedom fighters and national heroes “to re-inculcate national ideals and values” in children.

The report did not explain how schools proposed to teach children the immorality of sex before marriage without having such studies in the curriculum.