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Has Porn Become the only sex education for youth today?

Has-Porn-Become-the-only-sex-education-for-youth-today

Were you taught the reproduction chapter in Class 10? Or was it out of your syllabus too? How many of you feel comfortable talking to your parents about healthy sex, or vice versa? Not too many, right? In times when sex education is still a taboo among the majority of people, porn continues to shape society’s mindset about sex and its related aspects. With the imposition of a lockdown amid the global pandemic, porn consumption has boosted by 95%, despite the fact that it is banned in the country.

We are the third-largest consumer of porn in the world. Normalisation of degradation of, dominance over and violence against women and other marginalised groups like the LGBTQIA+ in pornography, for the sake of entertainment, affects our views on them. The way sex is fantasised in pornography creates a mythical image of sex in people’s mind.

Important issues such as consent, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, emotional relationships etc. are left untouched because these topics are not what get money. Sex is only portrayed as a leisurely activity with no reality check about it. And pornography remains the only source of sex education for most in the country. But this should not mean that the aforementioned issues aren’t important and it is okay to overlook them. Lack of legitimate sex education in schools is already showing fatal results, and pornography is only aggravating the problem.

HIV/AIDS is almost an epidemic in our country. Sexual crime and abuse against women and people from the LGBTQIA+ community are surging at an alarming rate. It is noteworthy that at the same time, one of the fastest-growing searches is ‘lesbian and gay porn’, and the depiction of people or their relationships nowhere stands true to their reality.

According to Dr. A Kameswar Sharma, Sexologist, porn is already affecting people’s relationships. Studies speculate that pornography influences our treatment of sex workers. It makes them feel that they are justifiable in asking for fulfilment of desires. They are paying for it, so they don’t have to feel shy. The use of contraceptives is very low, and people feel uncomfortable consulting a sexologist for their problems. Unintended pregnancies are also prevalent among the youth. Things like family planning are still unheard of by couples. The more we avoid it, the more we are aggravating these problems.

This is where real sex education should come to the rescue. Often, parents and political leaders preach that sex education corrupts and offends Indian values. But it needs to be acknowledged that more than sex education, it is the increasing unsupervised encounter with explicit material through social media and the internet is already damaging our society and ‘values’ added Dr. Sharma.

It is the need of the hour to impart legitimate sex education, to bridge the gap between the fantasy world and reality; not to keep pushing it aside because of awkwardness and societal stigma. It’s important to address our confusions and doubts that are otherwise left unsolved. Many organizations are working in this sphere said Dr. Ramananda Kishore Kavi, of Sanjeevani  Neuro Psychiatric Care in Akkyapalem.

However, the best thing a person can do to change the world is to change oneself. Educate yourself because no one is doing that for you. Read about it, consult some experts. Keep a reality check of what you’re watching over the internet. In the case of porn, it never shows the real picture.  Start a conversation with your children and loved ones so that they don’t have to bear the burden of your casual attitude in the future.

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