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Sex educating the ‘Parent’

DR Kedar Padte

The scene was anxious. There were over 300 students mumbling in hushed voices about the essay paper for the sociology exam being tough. The examiner was said to always pose awkward questions that would be difficult to write for three hours, even for those with IQ above 120.

Secksneverika, a bold student of sociology with profound knowledge of sexual psychology also stood unnerved. Once they entered the class and were handed over the question paper, she let out a shrill cry.

Write an essay on ‘Sex educating the parents of today’s teenagers’. What am I going to write was the query in every mind.

After gathering her skin together that seemed to have spilled all over the classroom, Secksneverika wrote: ‘Sex education from school to college and thereafter is an important topic of discussion. And educating the parents is as vital as ever in today’s ever evolving world’.

With the advent of travel, internet, magazines, television and cinema the child learns all aspects of sexuality very early. However, increasing porn available has made sex offences common vices, and promiscuity the rule of the day. Parents therefore have to be told and clearly so that they need to learn that sex education at various times during the life of their ward is important to know what to tell and at what age/time as well.

There are three types of parents (may be six, but we can keep the classification to a minimum)

 Traditional parents: Although they have children, they have never discussed sexual activity between the husband and wife. Their son is Godlyboy. He too is never supposed talk ‘sex’ with parents, siblings, friends or online.

And that he is supposed to ‘perform’ soon after, and ‘only’ after getting married to the ‘virgin’ girl they have selected from an arranged marriage. As to how he is expected to get a ‘gold medal’ in the event of a javelin throw of life, without ever having stepped in the pavilion, or watched the sport, God alone knows.

If Godlyboy asks his father ‘how’ the answer is a curt ‘figure it out’ to a formal handout of some sutra or text.

 Semi Intelligent Parents: This is the category of parents wrote Secksneverica, who have some idea of what to say to their son, ‘Semeknow’. In here again there is a situation where communication on sex education ebbs and flows.

There is a variety of permutations and combination in this category.

The father is aware but mother is not and vice versa. The parent, who is closer to the ‘ward’ (not maternity ward), is expected to talk to him or her at some point of time between 9 and 13 years about the existence of the genital organs, hygiene, use and misuse. Semeknows has to know that the misuse becomes useful after marriage. They know that their child is vaguely aware of the act of sexual relations and hope that the teacher tells him all. At other times the conversation is more like a confession, with parent confessing through a ‘curtain’/wall, a few realities of the gametic exchange.

 The flamboyant parents: These parents according to traditionalist have a profoundly disabled sense of morality. They believe that the child should ‘know it all’ from the very beginning.

They don’t mince the words, and are pretty organic in their explanations to their child. The child in question, if flamboyant is in control of his/her friend’s attitude towards sex life and at times is the better tutor of children of parents in the upper two categories. However, contrary to the general belief, the flamboyant teenagers are no more promiscuous than their so called blissful predecessors.

Be that as it may, rather than the school hold sex education classes for children, why don’t they start with the same for all parents of children from class 5 upwards, wrote Secksneverika in her essay.

Not that this is some novel idea. Parental coaching happens in many western countries, with an adept discussion on what and how much to tell the child and when.

As Godlyboy and Secksneverika walked out of the examination hall together, there were of few mischievous exchanges. Here are a few anecdotes that I did not write in the exam to prevent the teacher from going dizzy, said Secksneverika.

When father told Godlyboy some text book tips he should know after marriage, he said “Oh! This has been taught to me properly by the gardener’s daughter”, the father swooned.

When the teacher gave an abstract of the lecture she was about to start on sex education to class 10, half the boys got up and said “For those of us in the ‘know’, may we go outside play football.”

The children of today are geniuses. They can Google and get info from age six. By age 10 they are very literate. Depriving them of the right access could mean they land up with a garbled info. When Secksneverika’s mother said, “I only started menstruating at 16 years I was married at 18 years and had you at 19 years.”

“But mom, I started period at 10 and was a full blown lady at 13 years. Evolution is at fault you think?” said Secksneverika.

It is important for parents to understand that teenagers of today will indulge in premarital sex sometime. It is important to counsel oneself firstly, and the child later, giving it the light it deserves without being an obstructive shadow.

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