Sex & Sensibility 2

Yesterday I took a friend to meet Dr.R. Dr. R is a gynaec & Obs specialist. Pragmatic, Practical, non – judgemental and a non pill pusher, she has a great sense of humour and a instant ability to make people feel comfortable. She works out of Versova. We were generally chatting about our different kinds of work. She made some very interesting observations.The number of births, atleast middle class & upper middle class have decreased. Most opt for one child. The increasing trend seems to be no children. At the same time the number of MTP’s (medical termination of pregnancy) are on the rise. And this is mostly single girls (15 – 17) – and many of them come back multiple times. A lot of newly working girls also end up in the same situation, but theirs is not a repeat pattern. The girls, though not unaware of the concept of safe sex, didn’t see any reason why it needs to apply to them.


I had a similar conversation with a friend a couple of weeks ago. Her gynaec told her that the bulk of the terminations that come to her are the 15 to 18 or 19 age group – and it tends to be maximum 3 months after the end of navratri. Very often the girls turn up with their mothers in tow. When quizzed about why they don’t teach their daughters about safe sex — the mothers responded ‘that is not a part of our culture’. My friend and her gynaec are both based out of Mulund. And the trend, according to both, is not from any particular population niche, but from all strata and sections of society. Both Versova (and linked areas) and Mulund – where the two gynaecs operate out of – are multi community, multi cultural, cosmopolitan and contain various professional and trade groups. they are also old ‘localities’ – as opposed to the new developments at thakur complex or lokhandwalla or hiranandani powai. People and their attitudes never cease to amaze me. I try not to be judgemental about it – but there is something fundamentally wrong when a 15 year old goes for a MTP not because she had sex, but because she did not know about safe sex. There is something singularly deranged about the view that while sex in all its forms is an intrinsic part of one’s culture – 1.2 billion people didn’t spontaneously will themselves into existence – sex education or education on safe sex is not.


  1. Author

    Very good observation. I grew up in the United States, and the only reason I’m knowledgable about the practice of safe sex and abortions (‘medical termination of pregnancy’) is because it’s been drilled into us since the 5th grade. My mother’s never said a word to me about it. And to ensure that girls will think twice about getting pregnant, my school showed a woman giving birth (very graphically) every year since the 8th grade. You can bet that everyone got the message.

    However, most schools aren’t like mine–a lot of times, parents think that it’s an infringement upon their rights to decide what information their parents should know.

    I have a distant aunt who used to live in the United States with her daughter. She was upset that the school taught her daughter what it meant to have her period (it was the 4th grade) and the changes that the body goes through, so she pulled her out of school and moved back to India.

  2. Author

    The saddest part it that children from families that adopt the ‘ostrich mentality’ to sex education (our children are good, they don’t need it) are the one’s who are probably most at risk. After all hormones have never been controlled by values 🙂

  3. Author

    What i am amazed by is how people so surely and so exactly know what is their culture. When did the last edition of my culture come out? Are they selling it at Crosswords?

  4. Author

    yup sriram – at the local crossroads – wedged between horticulture and agriculture 🙂

  5. Author

    I read this artcile on India Together on how a huge consigment of the morning-after pills ws seized and taken out of the market after there were public protests – on grounds that such pills – and candid communication about their use – was promoting “free sex”. what about women who are vulnerable and want to avoid a pregnancy? I was so shocked to read what people thought about such a drug. and then this.

  6. Author

    Good one.

    Sex is something that we want every night, but on waking up, it is an evil!

    More than calling it just an attitude, I prefer to call it the duplicity of people – especially when you remember the Khushboo incident.

    I am thinking they are all economists knowing “supply and demand theory” well. If you don’t have morning-after pills, people will stop doing things which need those pills!

    If you do it, fine, but don’t get caught. Mansfield Park told me this a long time back.

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