We've all had that uncomfortable, "forbidden" sex talk either at school or with our parents, and nothing gets more awkward than that. The need to talk about sex and educate everyone about it is essential and very necessary in this day and age.
But, we lack the environment that makes it easy for us to talk about it. When our parents take on the initiative, we withdraw ourselves or cringe at the fact that they chose to talk to us about it.
Sex is a taboo topic in India, and the lack of sex education seeps through very evidently. Though it has had a certain trajectory of change, there's so much more to work on.
While many schools avoid the sex talk altogether, those that do, segregate the girls and boys to talk about it. The information remains the same, with very little variations but the talk never ensues in the presence of both genders.
Some schools even skip the "reproduction" chapter as "self-study" to skip the awkwardness and childish questions that follow. While it can get really awkward, educating young adults about sex is essential for them to have healthy relationships and sex lives.
On the one hand, schools ignore sex altogether and on the other, so do parents. Some of us have the pleasure to talk about sex with our parents, but that's not the case for some. Parents mostly act as though their children popped out of thin air and they just accepted it.
Entirely ignoring that sex as a concept even exists, they have the best excuses and answers to "Where did I come from?" questions. On the rare occasion that they do decide to give you a real answer, it treads along the lines of "You came from my stomach" and "You were planted in my stomach by God."
These answers may seem appropriate for children below the age of 14, but once puberty strikes maybe the answers need to get more realistic.
Why Do We Hate The "Sex Talk" From Our Parents?
"Many of us first learn that sex is a taboo subject from our parents, either directly, through their use of euphemisms for sexual acts and body parts, or through their complete silence on the matter", said Elizabeth Jeglic, a licensed psychologist and professor of psychology at John Jay College in New York.
"It can also be weird to think of our family members as sexual beings for the same reason it was weird to see our teachers outside of school. When someone plays one particular role in our lives, we have trouble imagining them outside this position", Joye Swan, chair of the department of psychology and social sciences at Woodbury University in California, says.
Children come to think of their parents as purely their caregivers, she explains, and parents think of their children as perpetually innocent.
"Aside from cultural influences, some psychologists think disgust around family members’ sexuality could be ingrained in our DNA. The human aversion to incest is almost if not completely cross-cultural, sex researcher Nicole Prause says, which may serve to help us avoid inbreeding.
So basically, thinking of your parents being sexual is gross. But when we have the sex talk with them, we visualize them in that light, which is unnerving and disgusting to our one-tracked mind.
It feels unnatural to tell our parents we engage in "taboo activities" and to imagine them doing the same. So, we'd rather google all our queries or have a teacher explain it to an entire class because that's just less graphic and awkward.
So, parents, it's normal if you feel unsettled to talk to your kids about sex or if they feel the same, but sex is important so maybe we should work a way out to make it less weird. What do you think we can do?