We seldom watch movies with our families when every now and then, an awkward situation engulfs us when either one of the family member is compelled to switch off the TV. What worsens the situation is the embarrassing silence that follows. On one hand we are filled with shame while watching an adult scene in a movie, what is astonishing to know is that according to a survey, 15% of HIV/AIDS patients in India are children under 15 years of age. What a contradiction!
Ironic is the fact that India was the land where ages ago, Kamasutra was given shape by Vatsyayana. There is no law which says that pre-marital sex is illegal in India yet it is considered impure, improper and unacceptable in the Indian society. Sexuality in India has always been discussed in hushed voices or behind closed doors. Most parents hide their affection towards each other in front of their children. The children thus grow up to believe that love is something which is meant to be suppressed and it is improper to display affection in public. Parents feel that if they talk about sex, the pre-existing notions of modesty will be broken.
Furthermost, there is a difference between how adolescent boys express their sexuality and how adolescent girls do. Forced to fit a macho stereotype, boys feel comfortable discussing about their sexuality whereas far lesser number of girls discuss it. The reason is that the notion of sexuality is more oppressive for a woman who is expected to remain chaste before her marriage.
A woman who has lost her virginity before marriage is considered promiscuous. A woman’s virginity has become a paramount for her character certificate. It is not surprising to know that most men and their families still insist on having a virgin or untouched bride. Even if a woman expresses her desires, society will do everything to curb it, often taking the disguise of moral ideologies.
Behind this ignorant belief are parents who brought up their daughters to be virgins and raise up their sons to believe that girls who are not virgins are ‘unfit’. No ‘good girl’ can think of physical satisfaction till she is a wife. This outlook is enough to make it a taboo. Though the concept of sexuality is absolutely senseless and flawed, it does not work the same for men. A man is allowed to have sex before marriage and is often tagged unmanly if he remains a virgin for long.
It is important to note that the aftermath of this narrow mindedness is that most rape cases go unreported and marital rape is still not considered a crime in our country. Women who get raped are subjected to two finger test. The belief that if a girl has sexual experience before marriage, she is justified even to be raped, is appalling.
Though society is moving ahead, sex still remains a taboo. It is high time to view sex as a natural, normal and healthy part of life. Taking examples from developed countries of USA and UK, youth in metropolitan cities have started perceiving pre-marital sex, one night stands and living relationships as normal. But there’s a long way to go and to create a liberal thinking, the prevalent myths must be dispelled. Sex education can also be imparted in schools to change the outlook of people.The educated youth can play a crucial rule in enlightening the nation so that sex would no more be reckoned as sinful.