Indian youth get their knowledge of sex mostly from friends, porno films and “self-reading”
Plenty of discussion has been generated on whether sex education is necessary in schools or not, and it appears as if the majority of state governments are against it. Well, this Kamasutra sex survey which was undertaken as recently as 2005 says that the majority of youth today acquire their knowledge about sex “primarily through ‘Self reading’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Blue films’ rather than through parents, qualified sex educators and professional help.”
And worse, as many as 26 per cent of the respondents admitted that they rarely or never use condoms. Their preferred use of contraception was “pills” or “partner’s sterilization.” In many cases then the onus of preventing pregnancy lies with the female.
These are the kind of statistics that our “moral police” (who are none other than hard line political parties) should look at. They have a constituency after all. They should know that the majority (75%) of the respondents felt that “formal sex education should be given in school,” and about half of them felt that sex education should also be provided by “a parent of the same sex.”
This survey was essentially an urban one, and the majority of the respondents belong to Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore. These are people who are ostensibly more educated and I guess not the kind of group that political parties are interested in.
All these respondents were young, mostly in the age group of ‘18 – 30’. Approximately half were unmarried and were from nuclear families. About a quarter of the respondents earned between ‘Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh’ per annum.
Some interesting statistics on attitudes towards pre-marital sex:
1. About a third of the respondents in the age group of ‘above 31 years’ had had pre – marital sex with their spouse.
2. 27 per cent of marrieds had had pre-marital sex with more than 5 individuals.
3. 77 percent of all respondents agreed that “Pre-marital sex causes Guilt/emotional disturbance, if one does not ultimately have the same life partner”.
4. 66 per cent of respondents agreed that ‘These days pre-marital sex is acceptable “
5. 29 per cent of respondents did not think that “films and TV encourages pre-marital sex.”
About Marriage, it was ironic that while most respondents believed in “trust and sexual integrity” as being essential in a marraige, a good 35 per cent of the marrieds admitted that were currently involved with someone else!
Clearly, we are not as prudish a society as we would like to imagine. Everything happens, but it only happens behind closed doors. That is perhaps why the moral police makes such a big deal about everything. It would be interesting to delve into their personal lives to see how “pure” a life they lead.
(I took this photo one evening while driving along Marine Drive)