Though synonymous with the criminalisation of homosexuality in India, section 377 of the IPC holds relevance not only in same-sex relationships but also extends to heterosexual relationships. The law also states that oral and anal sex is illegal in the state of India, which leads you to think how democratic our nation actually is, if they have rules against innocent, consensual sexual acts but not against crimes like marital rape.
The issue of sex and sexuality in India is like the elephant in the room- clearly looming in sight but staunchly refused to be talked about. As the nation with the second largest population in the world, it is obvious that sex isn’t such a taboo act in the people’s lives. Then why is the discussion of one’s sex life so unheard of?
Here comes to play the idea of chastity, of purity and virtue. The attachment of shame and guilt to any acts of sexual nature, even innocent touching or kissing. The education system has downright refused to acknowledge the existence of sex education, citing that it will ‘provoke’ children to pursue sexual relations at a young age. Here’s the thing: they already do, that too with rather unsafe methods and half-baked knowledge of the matter. You can’t stop them. Wouldn’t it be better if they did it with precautionary knowledge of their actions?
Pre-marital sex is a widespread practice, even in smaller cities and villages. But instead of addressing the issue and spreading awareness about how to ensure safety, the authorities stupidly believe in closing their eyes and praying it away. It is psychologically proven that teenage is the time of sexual realisation and exploration. It is the time of discovering one’s sexual identity and preferences. If hindered, it leads to lack of mental growth at that age which will adversely affect all the future stages of development.
Citing culture or religion as an excuse for condemning premarital sex or certain sexual preferences is vain. If you really want to look back to our history and culture, how about taking a page out of the Kamasutra, or glancing around the walls of Khajuraho that not only depicts sexual acts in public but also proves the existence of homosexuality, polygamy and polyandry, and even bestiality? Not so comfortable with our culture now, are we?
Just because it is not spoken about, doesn’t mean it ceases to exist. If you blame the generation for having loose morals and no chastity, it is a fault in the ignorant upbringing which forced the young minds to look elsewhere for knowledge. Sex is scientifically categorised as a basic human need, alongside nutrition, water, oxygen and sleep, but not given the same importance as the others. There is no need to make it into a social evil when it is just another bodily requirement.
Sex is an important aspect of any romantic relationship. If a sexually untested relationship culminates into a marriage, and the partners discover their dissatisfaction with each other, it will be too late to have a hassle-free breakup. If the Bible calls premarital sex an immoral act, remember that the Bible also forbade cutting of hair. It is the lack of awareness and education that should be questioned, and not the morality of the youth. You cannot prevent it, so make sure you educate and inform them enough to avoid mistakes instead of calling them names.
Besides, how sad would it be if all our morals and virtues lay in our genitals, and not in our minds?