The Kerala High Court has expressed its concerns over the glaring absence of adequate sex education in schools amid the rising number of child pregnancies, also stating that the easy availability of pornographic content online can mislead youngsters. The court said it was time for the authorities to “take a re-look at the sexual education being imparted in our schools”.
The observations by Justice VG Arun came while allowing medical termination of the 30-week pregnancy of a 13-year-old, who was impregnated by her brother, also a minor.
Kerala HC calls for Sex Ed review
Stressing the importance of sex education, the Kerala HC bench said that it’s crucial to educate children about the safe use of the internet, “Before parting with the case, I am compelled to express concern at the increasing number of child pregnancies, in which, at least some cases involve close relatives. In my opinion, it is time for the authorities to take a re-look at the sexual education being imparted in our schools.
“The easy availability of porn on the internet can mislead the juvenile minds of youngsters and give them wrong ideas. Educating our children about the safe use of the internet and social media is absolutely essential,” it said.
Notably, the same bench had recently come to the assistance of another 15-year-old rape survivor by allowing her to undergo medical termination of her 24 weeks pregnancy. Therefore, considering the physical difficulties, mental agony and opinion of the Medical Board, Justice Arun was inclined to allow medical termination of the pregnancy.
Is porn detrimental to young minds?
According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), exposure to porn at a young age may result in poor mental health, sexism and objectification and can even promote sexual violence. Apart from developing abusive and misogynistic behaviours, children may pass off such acts portrayed in porn as being normal and engage in unsafe sexual practices.
The kind of sex education that exists in India mainly covers topics like HIV/AIDS infection and teenage pregnancies. However, there is a lack of awareness with regard to homosexuality, practising safe sex and menstruation among women.
Porn not just alters their views about sex but also their understanding of relationships in general. Due to porn, teenagers “may try prematurely experimenting it due to very high curiosity with a clear motive of sensual and sexual pleasure with an available partner without focus on a sustained and long-term relationship which can actually help them in growing, resulting in high-risk behaviours and promiscuity. Sex would be viewed as something to be done for pure pleasure without question of emotive component, as that’s only shown in porn clips,” explained Dr Pallavi Joshi, consultant psychiatrist, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru.
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