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A. Raj sdb, Tiruchy says,
MODERN MEDIA ACCELERATES THE NEED FOR SEX EDUCATION
By A. Raj sdb
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Tiruchy, Aug. 29. It is said that while a teacher was speaking to the children on HIV/AIDS she happened to mention that `there are diverse colours of condoms`. A voice from the class interrupted asking ``Teacher, what do you mean by diverse?`` With so much exposure today, children know more than what we expect them to know on sex. But the concern is whether they know the right stuff.  

It is said that while a teacher was speaking to the children on HIV/AIDS she happened to mention that `there are diverse colours of condoms`. A voice from the class interrupted asking ``Teacher, what do you mean by diverse?`` With so much exposure today, children know more than what we expect them to know on sex. But the concern is whether they know the right stuff.  

Generation X is caught in a maze of media happenings. Every child uses either television, film or the internet on every day basis.  Though these three media are considered powerful informative tools on sexual health, they could play maximum mischief for maximum risk. Internet, MMS (the shocking MMS spree from Delhi), films etc., take a roller coaster ride of their behavioural patterns.

Many studies have concluded both in India and abroad that televisions have changed sexual habits of children.  Both the teens and pre-teens are affected by media in their sexual behaviour.  Today the children are overly conscious and are highly controlled by what they watch in the media.  

They turn to media for both private and public answers. Sexual health is no exception. How many aunties and uncles are advising them on day today basis and get paid? Though some answers are nothing short of pornography, responsible media campaigns are definitely around and do produce positive results.  But they are minuscule.

Media, no doubt, is a central part of any human life. Today the pre-teens and teens spend average three to four hours a day on media that include music, television, video games, films and web surfing.  There are plenty of misrepresentations and wrong assumptions about sex. Everything that they see in the internet and television are not right. If so, where will they get right knowledge?

If children are exposed to media at the younger age, then the sex education too should begin at the same age.  Actually early age lessons can lesson the awkwardness and discomfort that comes with teaching the subject. They say lying about sex brings more harms to the children. Today the media is doing just that. They rouse unnecessary curiosity on this `forbidden land` and as we know the temptation of the `forbidden fruit` is the mother of all temptations.

Sex education in the schools has always been contentiously debated. Pseudo-morality of different quarters even conservative media object to sex education in the schools as if sex education is connected to educating children to have safe sex.

What exactly should form sex education in the schools? Sex education itself is an broad term involving sexual anatomy, reproduction, intercourse and various aspects of human sexual behaviour.  The students should be taught the concepts of love, courtship, intimacy, social interactions particularly with opposite sex. It is inculcating in the young minds right beliefs, correct perspective about their identity, sexuality and intimacy, physical development, gender roles and emotions.

Different people at different stages have a responsibility to educate children. Talking about sex in a family environment is not easy. Though parental situation is the ideal, a lot of our parents feel uneasy. That is also the reason why we should leave it to the teachers. The parents should do the groundwork for sex education with their simple explanations and the schools should support and supplement.  

Societies with conservative attitudes on this have suffered phenomenally in incidents like Sexually Transmitted Illnesses, teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS etc.,

Media leaving the children in dilemmas and family adults keeping them in the dark can only result in psychological disasters and disorders. Only through such education we can set the stage for open and honest discussions devoid of curiosity and experimentations.

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