There’s a Freudian shocker tucked away in the latest Census files. Cramped living conditions are wreaking havoc with the sex lives of more than half of Bengal’s households.
About 56% of the state’s households inhabit single-room dwellings, which, in turn, forces married couples to severely compromise on their conjugal relationships for most of their lives.
The percentage is much higher than the national average. About 41% of the population of India suffers from the same misfortune.
The worst districts are South 24-Parganas and Nadia, where 66% and 63% of households, respectively, live under similar conditions, while couples in Kolkata, too, are suffering, with about 47% being unable to have normal, healthy sex lives because of a similar lack of privacy. Couples in Darjeeling are the happiest in the state, with only about 30% sharing a room with other members of their families.
The statistics emerged on Tuesday when the director of Census operations in West Bengal unveiled the 2011 data pertaining to household amenities and assets in the state. Demographers admitted that households consisted not just of couples, but also other relatives.
In other words, these couples have been forced to forego sex for years because they have to share a room with other members of their immediate families.
“More than 1 crore (52.2%) families live in single rooms, sharing them with other family members, including children or even parents. For 3.5%, the situation is even worse, with more than one family sharing a single room,” Dipak Ghosh, director of Census operations in West Bengal, said.
Psychologists said the situation could have alarming consequences. “Deprivation of sex — one of the primary needs of human beings — doesn’t allow the bond between couples to grow. It leads to depression, discord, extra-marital affairs and even break-ups.
Sometimes, the husband or wife may even develop physical and mental problems,” PK Roy, assistant professor of clinical psychology at Bangur Institute of Neurology, explained.