Even PornHub is more concerned about sex education than India's HRD ministry

It's a bit more than talking about sex organs.

 |  4-minute read |   02-02-2017
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It is likely that Indian parents will never talk about “the birds and the bees” with their kids, after all it is not exactly a part of our culture to be open about sex and sexuality.

And sex education in India is very much like bad sex: sloppy, quick and leaves out a lot of things. The information is poor, and often lacks anything other than rudimentary biology. In fact, in a lot of schools, when young girls are taught about menstruation, they are done so in exclusion of boys. Cold clinical terms, and a lack of discussion about the psychological changes that come along with puberty, the idea of consensual healthy sex and the impact of pre-marital sex often leave kids with two choices to quench their curiosity about the human body: peers (and their faulty information) and porn.

sex-ed_020217011737.jpg Sex education in India is as bad as it gets. [Photo: Reuters]

Yes, believe it or not, a huge chunk of children learn about the reproductive organs, sex and sexuality from porn. While, for an adult, with developed sensibilities, taking tips from porn is not the worst of things, but for a child who has zero idea about sex, it can be quite the dangerous route – after all, porn is pretty racist, misogynistic and more often than not, gives you an exaggerated idea of sex.

Seeing that schools just don’t care about imparting good sex education to children, it is a porn website that has taken it upon itself to impart education to overly curious teenagers. PornHub - a name that almost everyone with an internet access knows - on Wednesday, launched  the “Pornhub Sexual Health Center”, a free website, that they hope will become a go-to for their more-than-70 million daily users, for seeking information and knowledge about  STIs, sexual safety, etc.

Dr Laurie Betito, a renowned sex therapist, will be the head of the website, which will include a team of doctors, therapists and experts, as they try to answer the various question that come their way. And if Dr Mahinder Watsa’s “Ask the Sexpert” column is anything to go by, they will need experts.

Corey Price, the vice-president of Pornhub told Mashable, “Our goal is to provide our visitors with a site that has credible and insightful information, rather than have them scouring the internet.” The website is meant to be a resource, not only for curious teenagers, but also for adults, as a guide to sexual health and relationships.

With a whole host of things that is wrong with the pornography industry, this positive step will take things a long way. Anyone who has seen the 2004 movie The Girl Next door will know that porn as sex-education is not a bad idea at all. In the movie, a bunch of high-school teens take the help of pornstars to direct a sex-ed film for the school.

When you compare this effort by a porn website to impart education with our very own human resource development ministry, things get a little sad. According to a Huffington Post report from October 2016, the HRD ministry asked an expert panel making recommendations for new education policy to remove the word "sex" and "sexual" from a government framing policy on sex education for school students.

Not to mention that the RSS, the "non-official overlord" of the BJP, has some rather amazing views on sex education. In 2015, RSS ideologue Dinanath Batra said that sex education will “pollute” young minds. According to Batra, a controversial educationist, often accused of saffronising India’s education system, “Instead, we should focus on character building among the student community. You cannot imagine how a woman teacher or a girl student would react to such an expression (sex-education) in a class”.

In 2014, the Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, the same guy who had suggested that fidelity instead of condoms would be a better measure to prevent the spread of AIDS, said on his personal website that the so-called "sex education" should be banned; rather yoga should be made compulsory. This man, other than being a health minister, was also a doctor.

Oh well.

Also read - What porn taught me that biology couldn't

 

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Pathikrit Sanyal Pathikrit Sanyal @bucketheadcase

The author is a culture writer who likes talking about the internet, memes, privacy and all things pop culture.

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