The other day while I was sitting alone in my classroom doing some official works, I was approached by a group of 5 boys aged between 14 and 16. I looked up to find out that they were a bunch of 7th graders and I happened to be their class teacher!
“Excuse me, sir. Shall we ask a doubt?”
I assumed that they are going to ask doubts on Pythagoras theorem that I had taught them that morning.
“Yes, what doubt you have?”
This time around they started to whisper among themselves with a kind of hesitation. After the ga[ of a few seconds, one boy uttered-
“Sir, I don’t have any doubt. This boy has one, I just accompanied him” he pointed at and pushed forward a boy stood next to him!
The second boy seemed perplexed to find himself facing this sudden unexpected backstabbing from his friend. Literally, it was unexpected! I almost cracked up!
By now, I was able to guess what they are about to ask. However, I pretended not to know! I guessed that this embarrassed boy had now clearly been a scapegoat.
“So, tell me Naveen(Name changed), What do you want to know? Pythagoras theorem?” I said.
They all looked at each other. They needed an initial push. The dilemma lied in who would kick start.
After the complete silence of a few seconds, one boy gathered enough courage to open his mouth.
“Sir, our doubt is not from maths. It is from science and it is not in our textbook. 8th graders are studying that in their science book. About something happening in our body at this age”
If there is an award for bravery in 7th grade, students would obviously choose this boy’s name for the immense courage he showed in asking this question! All other boys now felt a sigh of relief! I smiled at them. Smile has the power to turn any tough situation very light. They now felt more comfortable in opening up.
They started to shoot so many questions in one stretch. And the list of questions seemed somewhat like this-
“Sir, every day when I wake up in the morning, my that part is pointing upwards. Is it a disease?”
“My friend taught me how to masturbate. If I do it regularly, will I be affected with AIDS in the future?”
“At times a white colour liquid goes out of my that part. Does that imply that I have a big disease?”
“I am not able to concentrate in my studies. I’m always thinking about Deepika Padukone(Hindi film actress). How to stop this?”
“Is that white liquid a poison?”
“How to control this? I’m scared”
I couldn’t help noticing their innocence! They are really going through the crucial phase of their life!
Aren’t we neglecting the boys?
Image source- my smartphone
This question has always stricken me hard. Aren’t we neglecting boys when it comes to sex education?
Here in my case, I explained each and every aspect of sexuality to these boys and they seemed enlightened after my explanation. The level of their curiosity while listening to me was something that must get a mention here. They were living in myths until then. They were scratching their heads over when they were alone.
I can only talk about this matter from an Indian point of view. In many other countries, adolescent boys don’t seem to be so ignorant because they get the right education at right time. Here in the school where I teach, even students having 14 years of age can be spotted sitting in the second grade! When they sit in the second grade, there is no way they can get the right education. They will be taught the alphabets and numbers instead. And the result being these boys get wrong information from wrong people and end up being untouchable and headache to the entire society!
To this date, talking about sex is considered a taboo in our society. A boy cannot approach and ask his parents about his doubt on sexuality. It is highly forbidden. While, on the other hand, a girl child can easily seek help from her mother and the girly gang.
This significant gap arises because of the arbitrarily cultivated social pattern that exists in Indian as well as in many other developing societies. Boys are taught not to cry. They will be called timid if they do so. They are not expected to exhibit their emotions. Unfortunately many even afraid of clarifying their doubts thinking that this society will project them as incapable. They do fear it!
It is high time our boys should be treated emotionally equal, they should be taught to cry, laugh and express their emotion as their counterparts do. We must give them enough freedom to open up. freedom enough to openly share their doubts on sexuality with their parents!