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Re: Sex Education, Legalisation of Commercial Sex etc.



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An extremely important issue indeed and ought to be discussed with all 
seriousness. However you are perpetuating several myths which need to be 
addressed.

Let us understand that the spread of AIDS by commercial sex is  a fraction of 
the problem. Infected spouse giving HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted 
diseases to unsuspecting non-infected wife or husband probably contributes in 
a major way to spread of disease. HIV is also transmitted by infected mother 
to her offspring before and after birth. More alarming is the fact that a lot 
of unsuspecting people get infected by blood transfusions which are totally 
unregulated in India, by use of infected needles used not only to take drugs 
of abuse but also through use of unsterile instruments/ needles by health 
care facilities. Provision of resources for education, early diagnosis and 
higher standards within health care facilities are at least equally if not 
more important than the impossible task of weaning men off commercial sex 
establishments.

That marriage somehow keeps people from indulging in unsafe sex is a false 
premise. Marriage has got no other purpose in society except providing a home 
for children to be born in and brought up. It is doubtful that marriage 
either controls men's curiosity in any way or keeps them on the straight and 
narrow. I nevertheless agree that keeping the legal age of marriage 
artificially high at 18 and 21 probably serves no purpose except create 
problems for couples who want to marry a few years earlier. Certainly 
reducing the age of marriage by two to three years cannot do any harm.

By 10th grade most boys and girls know much more than their parents. I 
believe that sex education should be introduced to pre- pubertal children in 
a thoughtful manner to prepare them for the hazards and responsibilities of 
growing up.

Certainly imposing one person's morality on the rest of the society is not 
going to work. It has to be recognized that AIDS is not something that 
happens only to promiscuous and thereby wicked people. It is the most 
important health problem of our generation and should be dealt with in a 
scientific manner through education, awareness and mobilising resources for 
prevention such as condoms, disposable needles, gloves, means of 
sterilization, monitoring and research into affordable treatments. In this 
context we should consider human sexuality a biological condition rather than 
confuse it as a moral and ethical issue.

Important issue indeed.     








In a message dated 12/3/00 10:40:57 PM Central Standard Time, gusarma@eth.net 
writes:

<< IPI members: Please consider these:
 
         As a check on the spread of the AIDS and in connection with
         the World Aids Day, it is with an adult gay type ravishment
         (and rather, ulterior motive) reported:"Commercial sex is a
         reality  and  cannot  be  wished  away;      legalising it,
         would  help  in  regulating  the  activity,   ensuring  use
         of  condoms  to  promote  safe  sex!   Brothel  Owners  are
         given  the  reputation  to  feel  guilty  when  good family
         young (adolescent)  school  boys clad  in  school  uniforms
         visit  the  girls;  even when the'young' client is tried to
         be  turned  away  by  some  dispassionate  prostitute/s  by
         quoting  a  higher  price,    he returns with the requisite
         amount  (Rs.50/-)!   Hormonal  and  environmental  changes,
         coupled   with  the  onslaught  of  the  mass  media   have
         brought  down  the  puberty  age in boys, to 11 or 12 years.
         However, they  marry  as  late as 28 years or thereafter....
         Meanwhile  they  try to satiate their curiosity and appetite
         during  the  intervening  productive years,  turning gay and
         immoral..............Strengthening the sex education pattern
         in  the schools  and  colleges is a dire need.  Introduction
         of  sex  education  from 10th class is advocated. Government
         is  able  to control AIDS to some extent last year.  The use
         of condoms and removal of stigma attached to AIDS need to be
         further  supported  and  strengthened.  Sale  of  condoms by
         vending machines is being planned by Government......."
 
 
         2. What greater harm accrues, from 10th class onwards
         if boys,  and from, say,  8th class onwards, if girls
         (according  to the age  limits  to  be   scrupulously
         reduced and re-set appropriately) are legally allowed
         to marry in the prevailing   2k circumstances? On the
         other hand,  with the kind of education  advocated to
         be introduced,  may not they,  have to be allowed the
         benefit   of   enjoying   legal (not 'legalised'   or
         'commercial')  safe  sex,     without  exploding  the
         population   and  without the risk of contributing to
         the nasty dragon 'AIDS'and without the dubious resort
         to commercial sex workers. The added benefit would be
         of  adapting  themselves  properly  to their marriage
         partner by the time they cross their adolesence.  The
         built in advantage, then, would be either  the boy or
         the  girl  may   have continuous  influence  over the
         other as to the type of educational courses, service,
         business or profession he / she may like to prosecute
         according to their mutual choice unlike their present
         day approaches made to numerous country-wide and even
         global  computerised matrimonial match making centres
         where the boys/the girls after crossing their adoles-
         cence spend enormous time & energies & mental tension
         unendingly in search in order to match their multiple
         requirements/aspirations of mutual educational quali-
         fications,  height,  complexion, antecedents, career,
         geographical location/standing, aesthetic    feelings
         and  thoughts,  extent  of  sight, food habits, other
         whims and fancies regarding smoking/alcoholism,  etc.
         etc. with little or  no   scope for  parental  inter-
         vention?  Parents/elders/well wishers also would then
         be able to play their part better,  guiding  the boys
         /girls more effectively, right from the  early stages
         of alliances.  The scope for mal-adjustments  between
         the couple would then be reduced.
 
         3. Commercial Sex may then, perhaps, be got, reduced to
         the minimum,  instead of being, with state involvement,
         menacingly allowed to spread,  attempting in the least,
         at character-building.   It is anomalous that one still
         needs conduct and character certificates for  admission
         to educational institutions and for career making!
 
         4. Then, the government and non-government organs need to
         popularise use  of  condoms  and  other  family  planning
         methods  conveniently  among married couple much, instead
         of, commercial sex workers,   in their red light areas in
         villages, towns, cities and highways, leading to  various
         crimes,  futile  police  cases and  criminal court inter-
         ventions,  a  minuscule  proportion  of  which  only gets
         revealed in the press, etc.
 
         4. What actually transpired as social consequence after the
         government  deliberately  enhanced the marriageable age for
         boys  and  girls  as   the extant 21 and 18 years,  needs a
         critical review.      Were they made to attain puberty only
         at 21 and 18?  King  Kanute  would have done it! Were there
         not  real  hormonal  and environmental changes reducing the
         puberty age levels, contrary to the expectations of  legis-
         lators and parliamentarians?    Instead of various doctors,
         health  and  hygiene specialists, scientists, sociologists,
         judiciary,  politicians, cultural organisations, literature
         pandits,  radio, T.V. & cinema,  dwelling  on  methods  and
         devising ways and means of enhancing the puberty age levels
         shall  we  drive  the youngeters, (of course)supplying them
         the state sponsored condoms,to visit commercial sex workers
         tabooed  hitherto,  without giving the youngsters early the
         needed opportunity of the age old good institution   called
         "marriage".  Why lament and cast crocodile tears  over AIDS,
         CRIME, RAIDS AND ENCOUNTERS, etc., without  honest thinking
         and attempts at morality building?   Safe sex is to be best
         encouraged  by  Marriage,  not by Prostitution.    Does the
         intended sex education from 10th class, enhance the puberty
         age of pupils to 21 years and 18 years?
 
         4. A  national  debate  is  said  to be in the offing.    Let
         IPI members, however, think over and express their calculated
         views from now on.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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