Here in Pakistan, the land of the pure and good, we are proud and quick to shun all ideas and concepts that we feel are just morally wrong and will corrupt the minds and lives of our youth. It’s all about the youth and the kids right?
That’s why there is next to no concept of sex education being a mandatory part of the school curriculum because unfortunately we still do not understand that sex-ed is much more than how to practice safe sex.
The aversion to this form of education is quite ironic in a country where early child marriages, child abuse and rape and marital rape exist and are still not discussed as constructively. While there is nothing wrong in wanting to preserve the sanctity of our own religious and moral code of life, this becomes problematic when you see how countless lives are affected due to a lack of education regarding a topic that should have been normalized already.
We’re far behind in the race to coming to terms with the fact that whether we like it or not, our kids will learn about sex, one way or another. And with the state of the world atm, it might be far better for them to learn about it earlier to keep them well informed and safe.
There are certain unavoidable misconceptions regarding sex ed in our country and eradicating these might be the first and most important step to ensuring that our youth is not forced to learn these important ideas from romanticized versions in pop culture or worse, sexualized and disturbing ones from pornographic websites.
Because let’s be real, just because the sites are banned in the country, doesn’t mean teenagers aren’t exposed to pornographic content. Ever heard of VPN? Your kids have.
So, what problems do we have with sex-ed?
- It is pornographic in nature and will teach our children engaging in sex at an early age is okay.
This argument is the number one issue that most parents have with the idea of teaching about S E X in classrooms and truthfully you can’t really blame them since they’ve never been exposed to this kind of education before. It is viewed as a Western concept and since it is misunderstood, it is perceived to be just as obscene and inappropriate as some Western content is. However, the thing is, sex-ed deals with wayyy much more than just the act of it. Practicing safe sex, how to deal and cope with puberty and bodily functions, awareness regarding sexual abuse, STDs and family planning are some of the important ideas within the domain of sex-ed and are quite important.
2. Sex-Education is a Western concept because they have issues like teen pregnancies and sexual diseases which are non issues here.
The minimum age of marriage in Punjab is currently set at 16 for girls and women. So, teen and child pregnancies and sex based exploitation are DEFINITELY issues that are relevant here in Pakistan. Just because we think our nation is built on the firm foundations of moral and religious values does not mean they are practiced everywhere and in every situation. The reality is unfortunately quite different with child abuse and sexual diseases being quite common in the country.
3. Sex Education has no real societal or medical benefits, especially for men since men don’t get raped or get pregnant.
Yes, men don’t get pregnant but men are definitely involved in the process and need to be educated about it to ensure both partners are practicing sex safely. Also, let’s just do away with the idea that men do not get raped because this is just plain wrong. As per a report, approximately 20 percent of young adolescent girls display period induced absenteeism due to a lack of access to sanitary products and aggravated symptoms of PMS which is a real issue that is often sidelined and ignored as a “women’s issue.” This absenteeism is the first step to a much larger percentage completely dropping out of school due to a number of issues. A lack of knowledge regarding STDs and safe sex practiced have led to a whopping 132,000 people in Pakistan currently reported to be living with HIV/AIDs. A UN report concluded that “a girl between the ages of 15 and 19 is infected with the virus that causes AIDS every three minutes.”
4. Sex-Education is why our children are so obsessed with sex, therefore, it needs to be banned.
This is one of the worst ways to deal with the fact that children are inherently curious about these things. One of the first questions that most children ask growing up is how they were born and whil it’s okay to cook them up a fantasy story while they’re very little, continuing on with the charade could be really harmful for them in the future. If we keep denying them correct scientific knowledge they are going to turn to Google and porn to give them answers. And nobody wants that. Right?
5. Sex-Education is not appropriate for young children, they will learn everything after they are married.
Can we really continue to run this charade while reports suggest that in 2018 we had 12 cases pf child sexual abuse surfacing everyday?!? With ages as young as 6- 15 being the most vulnerable, are we still adamant to denying our children the proper education and information they need to save themselves and cope with such ideas that do exist in our society? This culture of silence needs to stop ASAP.