By Rashid Khan
No man can claim to have spent a day without thinking about sex, while some suggest they think it as frequently as 8 times in a minute. But a cell phone manufacturing company recently drew a lot of criticism for going against the social sensibilities and civility by using word “sexy” in one of its ads. Many came forward as strongly as the ideology of state was somewhat challenged by this word which happens to be a universally accepted praise elsewhere. Most recently, our countrymen were recognized as world’s third sexiest by an American website and it was celebrated as a national pride, unsurprisingly because it was not the sexiest women but men. During last Cricket World Cup, the whole nation was replenished with pride in spite of dismal performance by our players when an Indian Twitterati labeled Pakistanis as “Hotter” when compared with their Indian neighbors.
Where Sex Education is considered significant in aiding young ones in maintaining their sexual health and coping with sexual complexities globally, but it is not even under consideration here under any stage among our “sexies”. Two thirds of the Pakistan’s population is under 30 years old and it is no surprise that Pakistanis rank among top porn streamers worldwide. It clearly indicates toward the curiosity regarding sex among our youth especially in the context of early puberty phenomenon, where minds as young as 10 are not able to cope with their sudden physical changes and emotional desires. The confused hatred toward “sex” is not new to our society. I still remember my time in school when we always failed at finding any word that has any sexual connotation in local English-to-Urdu dictionaries but erotic newspapers were displayed openly on stalls.
Although sex education is more than necessary in Pakistani context as it is being faced with problems such as Child Marriages, Child Molestation and Early Puberty, still our nation is not ready to include Sex Education to our school syllabi. We do not have problem with having chapters of Warriors demolishing worship places but we take inclusion of sex education as a threat to kids’ morality and religiosity. Millions of Rupees are being spent every year on campaigns aiming at the correction of misconceptions pertaining to polio vaccine but hardly any ad dares to refute the skepticism that the vaccine causes sexual impotence in kids as world powers are afraid of growing Muslim population.
Lately I came across a news story in which an Indian teenage girl with the help of her school teacher was able to put her family members behind bars for repeatedly raping her over the period of time. It provides an anecdotal evidence to the notion that sex education can be used to eliminate cases of child molestation as wounds of kids will be better exposed before their teachers when they will start discussing sex more openly. A common rebuttal that sex education activists encounter is that the teachers are not ready to teach it as a subject due to their conservative backgrounds. But irony of affairs is that the same teachers are being trained to fight religious extremists and are learning to handle deadly arms but they probably think sex is more dangerous than guns and bullets. Some suggest that parents should take responsibility of their kids but it sounds absurd given that the majority of them are either illiterate or have very little knowledge of the subject. On the other hand, commonly referred as ultraconservatives, the Madrassas in the country are interestingly more liberal in explaining concepts of sexuality and religious instructions in this regard. You can easily find dozens of books that are no less fascinating that the Kama Sutra and are written by clerics for the guidance of pious believers in matters of sex.
Summarizing, the inclusion of sex education not only can be used to help kids with the questions related to sexuality and sexual health but can considerably assist kids in coming out loud against any sexual violence that they may encounter. Sex cannot be separated from any individual’s life and as a society we need to grow tolerant toward an education that is essential for our population welfare and wellbeing.
Rashid Khan is a Web Journalist and a social activist with focus on population welfare. He is also the co-founder at the “Council for the protection of Worship Places, Pakistan” and tweets as @RashidGujjar.