Myth: Sex Education is required only for the Western countries; India is a country which holds a strong cultural and traditional value and hence, there is no problem of teen pregnancy or contraction of HIV virus.
Fact: According to the report from Global AIDS/HIV Epidemic, India stands third globally in terms of the number of HIV Infected persons. In order to understand the role of HIV and AIDS in India with respect to social and economic aspects, The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) committee was formed. Such was the scale of impact of HIV/AIDS in India. Similarly, it is also proved that India has reported the highest number of child sex abuses.
On the other hand, teenage pregnancy is also increasingly on rise in India. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released a report called “Motherhood in Childhood” to address challenges faced due to the adolescent pregnancy in developing countries. According to the report, everyday, about 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth in all the developing countries including India. Out of this number, on an annual basis, about 70,000 deaths are happening due to the complications involved in adolescent pregnancy and childbirth.
Teen pregnancy in India is not only due to premarital sex, but due to the culture of having the girls married before the age of 18 years. There are two major legislations governing this: The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 that voids the status of marriage, if either of the parties are less than 18 years and Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which says that having sex with minors, i.e., under 18 years of age is considered a statutory crime, irrespective of whether consent is given or not. In spite of these two strong legislations, it is not effectively implemented.
In order to prevent teen pregnancy and the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), it is necessary for the children and adolescents to know about their own body along with the knowledge of good & the bad touch, the role of contraception, etc. The sex education also provides knowledge to the parents about why early marriages are not good for the adolescents.