Beebal Zafar Dr. Naveed Rehan SS-100 16 November 2011 Is there a Place for Sex Education in Pakistani Educational Institutions? Education is a process of transferring knowledge from one generation to another. Education has a wide variety. It does not include certain topics or subjects. It covers topics related to all aspects of life. One of the topics which comes under the tree of education is sex education. Jimmy Wales defines sex education in Wikipedia thus:
Sex education refers to formal programs of instructions on a wide range of issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence contraception and other aspects of human sexual behavior. In western countries, sex education is quite common but in Pakistan, it is not given in schools. The question is if there should be sex education in the institutions of Pakistan.
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Although folks of Pakistan think that there should not be sex education in the schools because of the culture of Pakistan and religion, nevertheless it should be taught in schools because it gives awareness to the youth about sexual health and sexual anatomy and the proper information about phenomenon related to sex. Sex education is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan because of the culture and religion. People argue that it is against the principles of Islam. This is not true because Islam is a religion based on facts. If sex education is such a destructive topic then why Allah mentions in the Holy Quran:
And they ask you about menstruation, say “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you”. Indeed Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and purify themselves. (2:22) It is clearly stated from the verse that instructions about sex are given in Holy Quran so there is no harm in giving sex education in schools. Allah declares Holy Prophet(P. B. U. H) a role model for Muslim ummah.
People went to Holy Prophet and discussed sex related matters. Dr. Akhtar explains: When I started to study what Quran, Islamic laws and religious scholars had to say about it, I realized there is so much discussion about sex in Islam. One would be surprised. There are sayings from the Holy Prophet Muhammad(P. B. U. H) about sexual matters and historical sources tell us he answered detailed queries on the subject from both men and women (Sex Education Book for Muslims Incites Anger in Pakistan). Therefore it is evident that Islam does not forbid one to get knowledge about the basics of life.
Most of the folks of Pakistan are of the view that the parents should give their children the basic sex education rather than practicing it in schools. No doubt, it is the duty of parents to inform about basics regarding sex but in a country like Pakistan where the literacy rate is 49. 9%, how can parents possibly teach their children about sexual health and anatomy when they themselves do not know about these matters. Awareness about it is the demand of present. In Pakistan, there is a lot of shyness between parents and children. Parents are mostly reluctant to tell their children about these things.
In a Pakistani television show, the youth present there was asked about how they came to know about their maturation. All of them replied that they got to know it on their own when they started to observe certain changes in them. They were not told about it before (Pachaas minute). So how can parents teach their children about it when there is a huge communication gap between parents and children. Therefore sex education is needed in Pakistan due to the fact that parents do not tell their children about the physical changes taking place in them and vice versa.
Another argument which most of the people think is very much effective is that if children are taught such things in schools they will get involved in the wrong things. This is not very much true because if sex education is given in a right way then the sexual activities are reduced rather than being increased. In a country like Pakistan, which is an Islamic country, sex education would be given in accordance with the teachings of Quran. Students would be awared about what is the Islamic point of view about sex. So they will get to know more about Islam and purpose of sex education will also be served.
Molly Masland states in her article that in a study of 35 sex education programs around the world, the World Health Organization found that there is no evidence that comprehensive programs encourage sexual activity. So this is a wrong concept that sex education encourages sexual activities. Sex education can reduce the unwanted pregnancies. According to a survey, 77 per 1000 women in Pakistan suffer from unwanted pregnancies. 37% of all pregnancies are unwanted in Pakistan (Sathar, Singh, Fikree). By educating the youth about these matters the number of unwanted pregnancies can be reduced.
If it is made a part of education in both public and private sectors, then it can be helpful to inform the youth of remote areas about these facts. In the urban areas the youth somehow come to know about all these things but the teenagers of rural areas does not have any knowledge about it. It is observed that the people of rural areas have more children than of those in urban areas. It is due to lack of awareness. Sex education can also help in reducing the population of Pakistan. Thus sex education can help to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Sex education can help to reduce the sex related diseases like HIV and AIDS. Sex education does not only teach about sexual intercourse or sexual anatomy but also about the sexually transmitted diseases. According to UNAID report, the percentage of Pakistanis suffering from STDs was 21% in the year 2008 (lack of resources could undermine gains made in HIV response in Pakistan). According to another survey, when 428 adolescents of rural areas of Sindh were asked about STDs, only 44% of them were able to name at least one such disease (Raheel, White, Khadri and Fatima).
This depicts that the adolescents of rural areas do not have any knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. There is a need to inform the youth about the STDs and the best way is to tell them through sex education. Another most important factor that can be reduced through sex education is the child abuse and child rapes. These are very common in Pakistan and the reason is children do not know how to react when someone tries to touch them in a wrong way. This awareness can be given through sex education.
According to a report a total of 2252 children were abused throughout the whole country in 2010 (Hibah Naz, the torture Pakistani children face). This is a huge number and there is a need to get control over it. Through sex education children can be taught how to prevent such things and how to react in such situations. The abusers are usually not punished as the parents are not willing to disclose these things. Therefore the child abuse can be reduced by sex education. In conclusion, it can be stated that sex education can solve many problems if taught in a right manner.
It can reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and child abuses, it can create awareness in the youth. It can help the adolescents to better understand the changes in their bodies that occur with age. If sex education is taught in accordance with Islamic teachings it can bring revolution in the society. Works Cited Ammelia Thomson. Sex Education Book for Muslims Incites Anger in Pakistan. January 9,2011. Web <http://www. care2. com/causes/sex-education-book-for-muslims. html#ixzz1dg01i4jC> Hibah Naz. Child Sexual Abuse: The Torture Pakistani Children Face.
September 15,2011. Web. <http://speakforchange. org/2011/09/14/child-sexual-abuse-rape-children-kids-pakistan-streets-karachi-speak-for-change/> “If Sex Education in Pakistani Schools” Pachaas Minute. Geo, Karachi, December 21, 2009. Television. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia. Web. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sex_education> Molly Masland. The Sex Ed Debate. Web <http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/3071001/ns/health-childrens_health/t/carnal-knowledge-sex-ed-debate/> Quran. Surah Al-Bakra. Verse no. 222.