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HT-C-fore survey: Sex-ed gets the thumbs-up

In an exclusive survey, 68 per cent people wholeheartedly approve sex education for our schoolchildren, reports Vipul Mudgal. Facts
Hindustan Times | By Vipul Mudgal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 30, 2007 03:14 AM IST

Is it time to bring sex out of the closet? The bulk of educated Indians in metro cities think so. In an exclusive Hindustan Times-C-fore survey, 68 per cent people wholeheartedly approved sex education for our schoolchildren. Only 20 per cent clearly opposed the idea with the remaining 12 per cent in two minds.

In India’s raging morality-versus-rationality tussle, which saw some teachers burning books, metro citizens’ minds are made. A resounding 72 per cent of the respondents in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore believe our kids’ perception of sex is patchy and they are unequipped to tell myth from reality. Ninety-six per cent of the respondents are parents of adolescents.

The tally of believers who want sex education for all ‘tweens’ and teenagers is a staggering 93 per cent. Of this, 56 per cent want sex education at the secondary level and 37 per cent favour incremental coursework (i.e. elementary courses to 11 and 12-year-olds and advanced courses as they grow older). Only seven per cent want it at the primary school level.

The survey found a significant consistency in the metro citizens’ grasp of the need-gap. A noteworthy 78 per cent want lessons on safe sex, including contraception. Of this, 26 per cent disagree that contraception promotes sexual activity.

As for modalities, only a few (6 per cent) think sex education should begin at home. Most (47 per cent) support classroom lessons followed by 33 per cent who prefer a combination of teaching at home and school. Only 14 per cent would choose do-it-yourself literature. A third of all naysayers (who constitute 20 per cent of the metro citizens surveyed) believe sex education is against Indian culture but a clear majority (67 per cent) of them is worried that sex education would corrupt young minds and push teenage pregnancies.

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