2014. 15 p.
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 14 (2), pp. 210-224
Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has been recognised globally as key to helping young people assert their sexual and reproductive rights. In India too, there is growing awareness of the importance of providing CSE not only to reduce sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies and abortions but also to teach important life skills. Simultaneously, lack of political will and conflicting interests among certain religious and political factions have ensured that no uniform CSE curriculum has been implemented throughout the country. This paper analyses the Adolescent Education Programme teacher curriculum as revised in 2009–2010 by the National Council of Educational Research and Training and the United Nations Population Fund. It highlights some of the opportunities presented by the curriculum and argues that despite its intent of providing relevant sexuality education for young people, the language of the curriculum is vague, thus potentially exacerbating confusion, and excluding people who do not conform to societal stereotypes of sex, gender, and ability. In order to be holistic, any CSE programme must be inclusive, cater to diverse needs and present content in a rights-based language without adding to the socio-cultural context of mystery and shame attached to sexuality.
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