Sexploration season 2 Episode 1:Sex and porn education for young generation

Published On: December 18, 2022 12:00 PM NPT By: Samiksha Shrestha

There is a huge public debate on CSE (Comprehensive Sex Education),the materials and curriculum for students for sex education being considered insufficient and inadequate. Lack of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and low access to sexual health services have forced young people to engage in unsafe sexual practices in Nepal. In academic institutions, the components of sexuality education have sparked considerable debate, such as teaching approach and content covered. And due to inadequate sexual and reproductive health knowledge, adolescents are at considerable risk of negative health outcomes such as early pregnancy, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, sexual problems, abuse, and violence.

Understanding and negotiating sex and relationships is important to young people, and the internet is providing them with a channel to search for information about sex in the absence of finding it readily available elsewhere. It could be argued that porn is becoming the new sex education. In this concern, this episode of podcast 'Sexploration', presents peer educators Ashma Sapkota and Sumanjari Pradhan who provide information and try to educate us through their conversation about sex education, sexuality and how people get sex Ed and how porn is affecting the mental and sexual health.

In Nepal, most of the schools do not offer sexuality education as it remains a controversial topic, especially given the age at which children should receive such education and the number of details that need to be disclosed. Teachers tasked to teach sexuality education face challenges while teaching, such as discomfort and embarrassment when providing information and discussing sexual health with students. Such discomfort and embarrassment among teachers are due to the lack of training and lack of teaching materials to support teachers in their work. Sumanjari Pradhan said, "In Nepal, there is a concept that you don't have to be qualified to become HPE teacher, there is a practice that sex Ed is taught by the same teacher who teach English or social studies." It is neglected that qualified teachers are needed in physical education. Teachers do not know how to open-up with students while giving such knowledge. She added, "There should be a certain criteria on which teacher should teach which subject,but it is not taken with great importance." Ashma Sapkota said," School is more focused on how to make students score better in exams rather than how to teach in such a way that it can be practically applicable in one's life. The teacher skips the lesson or just blatantly reads it. There is no proper training and education in this particular field.So, it has been a problem of both government and private schools." The teaching method of sexuality education has not been properly explored.

Although the government  have attempted to bring bans on legal, pornography, those efforts have failed due to the curious nature  and technologically sophisticated teenagers who are determined to obtain such material. With the access of the internet,they will invariably find a way to do so. So the real challenge is to reduce the number of children who desire to look at inappropriate content. Ashma Sapkota said, "Banning porn is not the solution.

"It should be kept in mind that how youths perceive it, how they are accessing the data and what kind of data. It should be monitored what kind of content is being accessible to young people, " said Sapkota. When teenagers encounter these videos, they tend to search further. Parents and schools, both are not giving enough knowledge to them about sex education and this adds onto the problem.So, even after the ban,such contents are easily available on YouTube and similar websites and affects the youths.

The increasing availability of pornography online has raised concerns about the impacts it may have on children and young people's knowledge of, and attitudes to sex, sexual behaviours and practices,attitudes and behaviours regarding gender equality,behaviours and practices within their own intimate, sexual or romantic relationships,and risk of experiencing or perpetrating sexual violence. Sapkota said, "Teenagers around 13,14 are currently being exposed to pornography in Nepal. First exposure any body has to pornography,that is not healthy because it shows you something at point which is superficial. Teenagers seek out many unhealthy portals which set up their mind differently. Their mind builds up with relationship curiosity, wrong idea of gender biasness, friendship, intimacy, consent and dominance which further damages the idea of relationship dynamic." She further added, "Teenagers do not know the aftermath consequences. So, such curiosity also leads them to do some activities that are criminal in nature, it could be something that could be problematic to them in the long run."

It is traced out that there are many cases where a person has done something that has resulted to a huge trauma to both the victim and perpetrator of sexual violence whose major cause is pornography. Pradhan said, " When one gets exposure of porn in his/her immature age, it affects them negatively. Childrens of grade 7-8 get unexpected wrong information from the internet. So, this episode is a conversation about how people perceive/learn from porn and its effects on youth mental health and sexual behaviour.

Summing up, this episode deals about overall concept of how young generation are facing difficulties in their regular life not having enough curriculum and parents guidance about sex education for which they incline towards internet. This further leads to unhealthy information such as exposure to pornography that leads to various problems such as misconception, promotes incest rape, sexual violations, criminal activities,effects personal development. Moreover, banning such content is not the solution but proper education should be given and monitoring should be done.



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