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It’s time we talk about sex education in Pakistan

It’s time we talk about sex education in Pakistan

Editorial Desk
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The countless rape cases of men, women and children over the past few years have oftentimes sparked boiling rage and demands of death penalty. But, what Pakistan needs much more than such a short-term solution is the sustainable long-term impact of sex education.

First of all sex education is not just about talking about sex. It involves talking about the human body, how it works, how to remain safe from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), family planning, how to remain safe from sexual predators and countless other dimensions, all of which are natural and not shameful. 

Shunning these topics create unfamiliarity with very important aspects about the human body as well as ignorance about how to identify when an individual is being preyed upon, especially if they are underage. Why else is pedophilia, the transmission of STDs and rape so commonplace in Pakistan? 

Additionally, and equally importantly, a lack of sex education leads to a bastardization of the concept of sex. Without Sex Ed, Pakistanis get all their information about sexual relations from pornographic websites, which by their very nature generally treat women poorly and perpetuate a perception that their consent isn’t necessarily needed and that “they like it”. It is this mindset which further contributes to the prevalence of rape and sexual abuse in society.  

Furthermore, individuals who are sexually frustrated, especially in conservative Pakistani society, are, in the absence of sex education, encouraged to take out their frustrations in horrific ways, as shown most by the psyches of many rapists. Sex education, a process by which individuals are instilled with the responsibilities of consent and respect and boundaries would go a long way in curbing the mindset of having sexual intercourse with the non-consenting. 

The death penalty, whether it be in the form of the oft-demanded public hanging or stoning to death, may deter incidents of rape and sexual abuse, as well as bring about justice. However, a more humane and effective strategy is the normalization of Sex Ed in both educational institutions and households. Choosing not to talk about something will not make it disappear. It will only make it worse. 

Rape has been a plague in Pakistan for far too long. One hopes that the nation will wake up soon and realize that the answer in curbing this menace lies, as in with most things, education. 

Also read: ‘Whataboutism’ and the decay of discourse