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SEX EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN – THE WAY FORWARD? (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
This was a persuasive essay assigned by my teacher. source..
Content:
Muhammad Mumtaz 2018-10-0281 Dr. Aamna Khalid SS-100 (Sec-11) 02 September 2015 SEX EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN – THE WAY FORWARD? Pakistan is a country fraught with taboos, unspoken yet established boundaries, and limits to speech and thought that continue to bind people despite the absence of a legal or formal framework to define the same. Religion, sex, rape, divorce – never does the society discuss such issues openly, nor do any other topics possess similar capabilities to silence a conversation. Yet, at the same time, people witness considerable debate on whether or not sex education should be introduced as part of curricula at educational institutes in Pakistan; debate that has, more often than not, been stifled using arguments that appeal more to societal norms than logic. Such reactions tend to ignore the various problems Pakistan faces today, many of which can be eradicated if, starting from an early age, appropriate education is provided to everybody. While opposition to any plans to introduce sex education at educational institutes in Pakistan is widespread, its ability to ward off probable medical consequences of unsafe intercourse, prospective role in solving some of our major social problems, and, in the religious context of Pakistan, ability to accurately transfer sacred teachings and knowledge to the young generation make the implementation of a proper, regulated sex education program imperative for Pakistan. Perhaps the most pressing concern, which propagates the importance of sex education not only in Pakistan but throughout the world, relates to the medical consequences of unsafe sexual intercourse. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), infections (STIs), and teenage pregnancy are issues that have caused panic in recent years. In particular, teenage pregnancies and the outbreak of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) across the world have alarmed medics and led to an increased emphasis on imparting sex education to children from an early age; without this education, they would not be in a position to know how to prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect themselves from such problems. Pakistan is no exception when it comes to the spread of AIDS and other diseases; in spite of the deeply Islamic nature of society, "high-risk behavior is prevalent" (Khwaja, Gibney, Ahmed, and Vermund 847), which implies that ignoring the rise in reported cases would only worsen the impact such diseases would have. Public reactions against any form of awareness campaigns have, however, obscured Pakistan’s fight against these perils. In order for this battle to be more effective, educationalists and the government of Pakistan must implement sex education programs at institutes across the country. The inherent taboos of the Pakistani society have given rise to many social problems, which only strengthen the case for sex education to be imparted to students at institutions. One of the biggest stigmas attached to women in Pakistan today is the false notion of infertility, followed closely by the baseless blame that falls on women should a marriage fail to produce male offspring. Women are not the only ones to suffer at the hands of society; children are also abused, many times sexually, by adults directly responsible for their wellbeing. According to Sahil, an organization that works against child sexual abuse in Pakistan, children who are abused sexually know the offenders in most cases, and the offenders have a position of trust and authority over them ("Child Sexual Abuse”). Thus a lack of awareness about sexual issues plays a vital role in exacerbating the problems faced by women and children in the Pakistani society. Should people be given the required sex education, they would know that females are not the only ones who may suffer from infertility, and also that the gender of the offspring is determined not by the female egg cell, but by the chromosomes donated by the male sperm. Children, another vulnerable section of the society, would be in a position to identify sexually abusive behavior of adults and to report it to someone responsible. They would also be able to defend themselves against such acts of transgression by the very people they trust, and in the event of abuse having taken place, the disgrace attached to such an event would disappear. Adequate sexual education right from the start would, thus, play a huge role in eliminating discrimination and offenses against the two most vulnerable sections of society. Opposition to the idea of sexual education at institutes is common and the reasons cited diverse; one of the foremost arguments against such a proposition is the pitiable state of the education system of Pakistan. The poor, it is argued, are most vulnerable to problems due to unsafe sexual activity and they are usually not enrolled at institutes that would provide knowledge about these issues. The abominable state of education in Pakistan is also cited as an argument, and it is proposed, instead, that enrollment and retention rates be improved, a standard of education be reached, and then the issue of sexual education be brought up. While the education system of Pakistan certainly does need massive improvements, the proponents of this argument against sex education at existing institutes succeed only in establishing vague links between the general literacy rate and the spread of problems owing to sexual activity among the population. A simple example of the African continent would suffice; while African nations suffer the most at the hands of AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, their literacy rates are significantly higher than that of Pakistan and many other nations with notably lower prevalence of these diseases. Subsequently, it can be deduced that literacy or higher levels of education have little or no bearing on the vulnerability of individual behaviors in a society; instead, it is only the provision of education on sexual activity, safety, and other such issues that determines how safe people are in general. The argument used most often, and perhaps the largest hindrance to the implementation of sex education programs in Pakistan is the conservative nature of the Pakistani society. People believe that sex education is against Islam, the religion they and the country’s constitution follow, and reactions against anything deemed contrary to Islamic teachings and principles is usually quick and severe. By arguing that teachings about sex would entice youngsters into activities prohibited by religion, leading them to engage in pre-marital sex or other such deeds considered offensive by the Pakistani culture, the whole concept of sex education has been assumed to be in conflict with Islamic principles. Prominent psychologist Dr. Sol Gordon, however, disagrees with the notion of sex education leading to increased desire for sexual activity. Instead, he believes, it is the lack of knowledge on a topic which leads to curiosity and, thus, increased chance of sexual activity among the young generation ("What Kids Need to Know”). Moreover, the...
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