#Opinion

Why I Wish My Parents Would Have Discussed Sex With Me When I Was Growing Up

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Like most Indian households, sex was a dirty word in my house. From censoring TV to prohibiting any discussion about sexual organs, my parents tried every way possible to avoid talking about sex with their kids. But what they forgot was that not talking about sex doesn’t make it non-existent. Eventually, every person learns about sex from various mediums. However, the problem is that without proper sex education, not every person understands sex in the right way. For some sex becomes an obsession, for some shame, for some violence and trauma for others. To me, sex was a trauma. I learnt about sex or about my private parts when I was sexually abused.

Sexual abuse happened multiple times in my life, beginning at the age when I rarely understood the difference between right and wrong. Since my parents never taught me about my private parts, I couldn’t ask them for help. They always treated private parts as something that should be hidden out of shame. In fact, I got to know about the word ‘vagina’ much later in life because I was never told what my private parts are called. So when the abuser touched my vagina, without my consent, I couldn’t understand how to react. On one hand, I was thinking that why should any man be interested in something that is supposed to be hidden? On the other hand, I was afraid that someone saw my private part which my parents had asked me to hide. How will I tell them about this? How will I put into words what the person did to me when I don’t even know what my private part is called?


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However, later when I grew up and started making sense of everything, the instances of abuse haunted me as unresolved traumas of childhood. And consequently, I was gripped by mental health issues. My parents undoubtedly are supporting me a lot in my recovery. But I still wonder why I didn’t get this support much earlier in life when there were chances to not let traumas leave a lifelong scar. Would things have been different?

Why parents should talk to children about sex

Maybe I couldn’t have avoided the instances of sexual abuse but would have certainly voiced them to my parents as soon as they happened, giving them a chance to intervene, to protect me or to help me overcome the trauma that I experienced. What’s more, I wouldn’t have felt ashamed of sharing what happened with me with them or anyone else and I wouldn’t have been clueless about what was happening to me. I would have been aware that I was being wronged and that there was no fault of mine. I had to cry for help and not sulk in shame. And this courage to stand for myself and against the wrongs wouldn’t have allowed any trauma to scar my life. I would certainly be disturbed that it happened to me but more than that I would be happy that I spoke against it.

Now it is too late to wish for these changes in my past life. But the lives of many kids can be made better today if parents start understanding the importance of sex education. It will help your kids to know about their bodies, understand the rights and wrongs of sexual intimacy and not be burdened by any childhood traumas. So dear parents, choose your child’s safety before the imposed ideas of morality.

Views expressed are the author’s own.