Saturday, 28 October 2017

Conversations about 'Love, Sex and Consent' with the boys of Government School

“I think he should have asked before he kissed the girl, I think girl would ask him why he did that to her without her permission. This is not right! Asking is a must” said a participant.

As the puberty marches in the lives of adolescents, the questions around one’s gender, opposite sex, what is sex? , engaging in sex, curiosities increase many folds, unfortunately they don’t find space in home, school to ask about the same which further ignites these questions! So in order to cater to these curiosities, provide answers to the questions, we facilitated a session on “Sex education”.

The workshop began with the train energizer, unlike our past experiences, the participants were amazingly innovative with their steps, one of them actually did a flip to which the rest of them followed and it was spectacular to watch them doing it in such a spot free style and with utter confidence. 

After a brief introduction and agreements, the facilitator shared a story based on ‘love’ ending into a question “What would you do if you were the protagonist in the story” to which varied range of answers were given-

I would slap the boy, how can he do this to me?”

“He should have asked before kissing”

“I will reciprocate the boy and confess my feelings after all I love him”

“After the kiss, boy might take her for a coffee date”

“He shouldn’t have kissed her in the tuition class, he might have taken her to a better place like park or a closed space”

“He shouldn’t have kissed her, what if she tells her parents. They will beat him”

Interestingly among the varied answers, almost 8 participants out of 17 believed that the boy should have asked the girl before kissing stating that it’s not right for someone to do this without consent. I was not only surprised but I was happy hearing this, in our country where men find it so difficult to hear ‘No’, also in the recent court judgment, where a film maker was given a clean chit stating that the victim didn’t clearly say no, in such context the adolescents understanding the concept of consent brings hope! 

Following this, the participants were divided into the groups of 3 where they were asked to discuss and write the incidences or messages or statements which they have heard about “sex” in the four different spaces: Home, school, friends and Media

“I was watching a film, in which a boy and girl goes behind a bush and something was happening. I asked my father about it, he ignored the question and asked me to do some work”

“In our science class, teacher taught us about adolescence, where he mentioned this word”

“I saw an advertisement where a boy and girl were kissing each other”

“I saw an advertisement of condom, where both of them were doing sex”

“My friend after the science class told me that for doing sex and for giving birth, both boy and girl should agree”

“I saw a magazine in which a boy and girl were doing sex”

“I saw a boy and girl who were in love with each other, once they were kissing and doing sex behind the bush”

“I asked my father about sex so he replied that it’s none of my business, when I would grow up, I will come to know on my own”

“My teacher on talking about adolescence told us that for doing sex, penis and vagina is needed”

“In one of the movies, I saw an actor and actress kissing each other, I thought they are doing sex”   

“My friend had a girlfriend, he told me once that he had sex with his girlfriend and then he left her.”

“We went to Qutub Minar for picnic from our school, we saw a boy and girl very close to each other. A man crossed by, we overheard him saying that they are doing sex”

“My father was reading a newspaper once, where I saw this word sex written in one of the pages”

“Many a times, in the films I have seen hero heroine sleeping together, kissing and doing sex”

“My friends talk about sex a lot of time”

“I have seen this film Titanic, where hero saves heroine from committing suicide, then he paints her when she is not wearing anything. They both go in a place and they do sex”

Reading this response, I was wondering that how can people still argue about whether adolescence is the right age to talk about sex? Because I believe that this is most appropriate age since they are not only hearing or seeing things but they are also actively engaging in sex!

The next part of the session involved screening of “Papu and Papa sex chat” on pregnancy, condoms and menstruation- taking references from the film we explained what is sex, how are babies born, how to use condoms and why to use it? What is menstruation, its importance, what is sanitary pad and related taboos!

After each film and in the last Q and A session, the participants asked many questions regarding the session which are as follows- 
explaining "what is sex?"

“Why is a baby born in 9 months?”

“If a boy wears a condom and engages in sex and still the girl gets pregnant then what do they do?”  

“Can a girl get pregnant by having sex in the very first time?”

“During pregnancy, do girls have menstruation?”

“Why do girls start having periods during the age of 11-15?”
Explaining "menstruation"
Two of the participants also shared that they also thought condoms are balloons! It was an interesting session where boys started opening up, asking questions and sharing their thoughts on the topics of love and sex!