Sex Education in Kerala: Is it the Way?

Say no to sex The Deccan Chronicle (February 14, 2007) reports about the new sex education module initiated by State Council of Educational Research and Training in Kerala. Sakshi Research Team compares the research findings of the sex education and abstinence education.

The Deccan Chronicle (February 14, 2007) reports about the new sex education module initiated by State Council of Educational Research and Training in Kerala.In the new module, The Deccan Chronicle reports:  “Teachers have to freely discuss various aspects of teenage sexuality with students and also give them tips on safe sex. For instance, a teacher is supposed to ask a Class IX student when he had his first erection and what he felt at that time. The teacher should also probe what the teenager felt towards girls after becoming aware of his erections.” 

We are confident about the arguments that pro sex education will bring. (1). Sex education is necessary to counter AIDS. (2) Whether we talk or not, teenagers will have sex. So it is better to educate them on how to have safe sex. Moreover, in Western countries, sex education is already taught.  Let us begin with the second argument.
Experience of the West 

In an article titled, The Disaster of Sex Education in the United States, Magaly Llaguno, cites the results of sex education in United States twenty years after it was introduced and the results elsewhere in the world. The article reads: 

The current statistics demonstrate a total failure in all of these programs, not only in the United States, but in the entire world, to avoid pregnancies or to reduce the number of sexually active teenagers. Premarital sexual activity has almost doubled among teenagers in the United States in the last 20 years (The Miami Herald, January 5, 1991). The United States, the country with the most contraceptives, including for minors without parental consent, presently has the highest statistics on teen pregnancies in the industrialized world (International Dateline, September, 1991). 

Another industrialized country in which sex education has failed is Sweden, the birthplace of the "sexual revolution." First sex education courses were introduced in the schools (from 1938 to 1988 – 51 years of sex education). Next contraception was legalized, then homosexuality and abortion. In 1955, owing to the enormous numbers of teen pregnancies and venereal diseases, sex education became obligatory, and by 1975 the government provided, free of charge, abortions up to 18 weeks of pregnancy for whatever motive. In light of this situation, in 1985 a government report expressed the concern and the disillusionment of the Swedish government with respect to the sexual liberation of the preceding decades. Sweden has begun the march back, as the United States will have to do and other countries sooner or later. 

Positive Results through Abstinence Education 

However, there are researches which also show what works. In the American Spectator, in an article titled ‘No Sex, Please: We're Teenagers’ (August, 08, 2006), Peter Hannaford, writes: 

Several months ago two researchers affiliated with the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Texas, presented their findings at a conference on sex education. They compared two groups of Georgia middle-school students. One group, of some 200 students, had taken an interactive, multi-lesson abstinence course called Choosing the Best. The other group of 140 received only four state-approved abstinence lectures in class. The Choosing the Best students scored much higher on abstinence knowledge than did the control group. More importantly, the researchers revisited the same students a year later to find if they had had sexual intercourse. The results: over the year 21 percent of the control group students had sex, but only, 11 percent of the Choosing the Best stude

nts had. 

Abstinence education works better than sex education. In fact, the National Review reports in an article titled ‘Abstinence 101’ (October 19, 2004), by Melissa Pardue that 91% of parents in Texas wants authentic abstinence education and not abstinence and sex education. Why are the democratic governments afraid to implement what the researchers have found and people support. Are they held captive by liberal intellectuals? It brings us to the first question about countering AIDS. 

One Country that Took a Bold Stand- Uganda  

Beginning with 1986, when President Yoweri Museveni came to power, the Uganda government proposed a ‘social vaccine’, a set of cultural values, to counter Aids. The message was and is clear, moral and simple: Abstain from sex until marriage, be faithful to your partner, or use condoms if abstinence and fidelity are not practiced. This policy is otherwise known as the ABC policy. Museveni’s government steadfastly followed its policy and worked along faith-based communities, particularly through churches, despite the wide spread pessimism and mockery. After more than a decade and a half, the result is incredibly surprising.

Uganda has experienced the greatest decline in HIV prevalence of any country in the world. According to Ministry of Health of Uganda, "HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report," STD/AIDS Control Program, June 2001, HIV infection rates in Uganda declined from about 15 percent to 5 percent. Moreover, among pregnant women, HIV prevalence dropped from a high of 30 percent to 10 percent over the same period. Surprised? Hold on for a second. Uganda's Demographic and Health Survey of 2000-2001 found that 93 percent of Ugandans changed their sexual behaviors to avoid AIDS. When the moral code within listens to the voice of divine reason, it results in a miracle. It worked in Uganda. It can be repeated elsewhere.    

The lesson from Uganda is this: Fighting Aids with moral and cultural values is the best policy to be adopted.  What we want is the abstinence education and not sex education.


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2 Responses

  1. I am being reminded of the news that appeared in Times an year ago, about a Catholic preacher who used to visit colleges in Bangalore, and after a short lecture made them sign a ‘abstinence commitment card’, which makes them promise abstinence till they get married.

  2. I read the bebate with dawah precher MM Akbar and jerry

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