It was in the early 20th century that Mr. Otto Frank had uninhibitedly explained to his daughter, Anne, about the “taboo subject” as a part of her regular education – the subject that we, as the Land of Kama Sutra, is yet to broach frankly among growing children. Therefore, the only sources of information regarding the subject are the readily available internet and the inquisitive peer group – both of which often provide a misleading impression and an exaggerated interpretation of sex. The result is endless giggles or simply sitting staring at each other bewildered at the supposed improbability of the latest discovery. From then on, whenever the taboo subject is approached, the accepted ritual is to look all around to ensure that it is an adult-free zone and then whisper with hands almost covering the mouth to pass on new bits of information, like RAW agents on a mission!
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The taboo regarding sex stems from the parents shying away from discussing it frankly and educating their children about the subject, to the extent of avoiding uttering the word or anything remotely connected to it, in the presence of their children. The word becomes a taboo with evil connotations due to the impression that is subtly ingrained in the young minds from a very early age. Girls are often kept strictly segregated from boys. This results in bizarre beliefs that even a kiss leads to pregnancy. Television channels are swiftly changed the moment an intimate scene appears on the screen, giving the children the impression that the same is shameful and should be strictly avoided.
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Thus, misleading information that unconsciously shapes our opinions and dictates our actions, often poses a problem after marriage. Couples face a situation akin to the one faced by the newly wedded couple, played by Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Padnekar, in the recent movie under the Yashraj banner, ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’. Furthermore, sex often results in a gamut of unpleasant emotions and, then, serious pangs of guilt when a woman starts enjoying it. The representation of women in Bollywood item numbers makes matters worse by presenting women unrealistically.
The ideal way to deal with such a situation is to impart sex education uninhibitedly to children, so that they do not grow up with misinformed ideas regarding it. Though, we are now comparatively more opened up as a society, approaching the situation with more maturity will ensure that the young population grows up to be more responsible as individuals.