Same-sex attraction is OK, boys can cry, girl’s no means no

In a bid to reach out to 26 crore adolescents in the country on health issues, the Ministry has decided to involve 1.65 lakh peer educators called “Saathiya”.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: February 21, 2017 12:01 pm
Health Ministry, same sex attraction, gay attraction, girl protection, adolescent peer-education plan, C K Mishra, rksk, sex education, sex school education, indian express news, india news It tells young people that it is all right to “feel attraction” for the opposite sex or the same sex during adolescence. (Representational image)

The legality of homosexuality may still be an open question for the judiciary and the Government is yet to change the law but resource material prepared by the Health Ministry for adolescent peer educators has taken a step in the sensitive direction.

It tells young people that it is all right to “feel attraction” for the opposite sex or the same sex during adolescence. The crucial aspects of all such relationships, it says, are consent and respect.

WATCH VIDEO |It Is OK To Feel Attraction For Same Sex Reads Resource Material Prepared By Health Ministry

“Yes, adolescents frequently fall in love. They can feel attraction for a friend or any individual of the same or opposite sex. It is normal to have special feelings for someone. It is important for adolescents to understand that such relationships are based on mutual consent, trust, transparency and respect. It is alright to talk about such feelings to the person for whom you have them but always in a respectful manner… Boys should understand that when a girl says ‘no’ it means no,” reads the resource material in Hindi that is going to be circulated to states as part of the adolescent peer-education plan.

In a bid to reach out to 26 crore adolescents in the country on health issues, the Ministry has decided to involve 1.65 lakh peer educators called “Saathiya”. The resource kit prepared for these educators that was unveiled by Health Secretary C K Mishra on Monday not only treats the issue of same-sex attraction with unusual maturity but also talks about contraception and gender-based violence in great detail.

The peer educators are being trained under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK). “Despite the expansion of media, there are many unanswered questions in the minds of young people in villages. Saathiya will address these questions. We are also talking about behavioural change and a change in thinking,” Mishra said.

The resource material prepared in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund also dispels gender stereotypes in the section on mental health where it says it is fine for boys to cry and categorisations such as “sissy” and “tomboy” are inappropriate.

“A boy can cry to give vent to his feelings. He can also be soft-spoken or shy. Being rude and insensitive is not a sign of masculinity. It is alright for boys to like things like cooking and designing that are normally associated with girls; adopting the role of the other gender does not mean that he is not male. The same applies for girls who talk too much or like to dress like boys or play games like boys. It is wrong to label such people as ‘sissy’ or ‘tomboy’.”

The section also deals with addiction, smoking and alcohol laying down their short and long-term harmful effects and also deals with conflict resolution.

The section on reproductive health has information not just about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases but also exhaustive information on contraceptive options (pills, condoms, IUCDs etc) for both boys and girls, listing masturbation as one of the topmost options for practising “safe sex”. It also has information on abortion and the need for parental or consent of guardian for girls younger than 18 years who want to undergo abortion.

The peer educators who will be trained by the health department with the help of the resource material given out by the Centre will do voluntary work but will be entitled to a “non-monetary” payment of Rs 50 per month, in the form of magazine subscriptions or mobile recharge or any other means as decided by the state.

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  1. A
    Feb 21, 2017 at 1:19 am
    I think this is great news. Our young generation needs to be sensitized to all these issues. Education is not only about reading writing and mathematics but equally importantly learning how to be a better human being.
    1. D
      Diwakar Kumar
      Feb 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm
      A step in the right direction
      1. I
        Feb 20, 2017 at 11:22 pm
        Progressive, only Islam throws LGBT people off the rooftop to their deaths, no other religion is so barbaric. Hinduism is kind
        1. R
          Feb 21, 2017 at 3:48 am
          Good. Such education should be promoted for all.
          1. A
            Anupama Gopinathan
            Feb 21, 2017 at 11:37 am
            1. S
              Feb 21, 2017 at 11:05 am
              Knowledge of intercourse is most essential tool for anybody . But what age is absolute for it ? . I think legal age for marriage should be equated to this, child with intercourse knowledge should be considered adult and grownup . Consequence of further parenting and unaware desire towards same gender intercourse should be open to debate .
              1. S
                Feb 21, 2017 at 11:13 am
                Self stimulating is a different theme of discussion . But guidelines for parents in this is must . Parents should be aware and open to guide their kin. Cheating due to unmet pleasure by partners . Is Premarital intercourse responsible for it and Cause of divorces ?.
                1. N
                  Feb 22, 2017 at 3:27 am
                  idea is good but .. ...implemation not allowed
                  1. A
                    Feb 22, 2017 at 4:52 am
                    Face book
                    1. A
                      ANKUSH MENAT
                      Feb 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm
                      I am uming you don't use social media much. India's dumbes have taken over w social media.
                      1. J
                        Feb 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                        What? Are you being sarcastic? They're obviously not normal things. Domestic violence, pedophilia, rape is HORRIFYING
                        1. A
                          Arvind Kumar
                          Feb 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm
                          Idea can not be seen in isolation with out implimentation ,we are expert in conceptualising new idea... which is great...We have seen the C.C.E method of in schools, a great idea of evaluating intelligence.But yes it was much awaited steps .All the stake holders of education should be engaged in Implimentation.
                          1. A
                            Avi Karan
                            Feb 22, 2017 at 5:16 am
                            A mature step towards gender and health education. Will need to see how sathiya 's training and implementation happens.
                            1. B
                              Feb 21, 2017 at 5:58 am
                              a right step. but most important is abstinence among adolescents. which is not given any;br/gt;BAN DIRTY MAGS like MANORANJAN KAHANIYA , SACHHI GHATNAYE, etc
                              1. P
                                Parantap Bhatt
                                Feb 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm
                                What an amazing first step by health ministry. Would love to know whose idea was this. Someone give that guy a cookie.
                                1. A
                                  Feb 21, 2017 at 11:49 pm
                                  Lies from the RSS backed media persons at Indian express. Everyone knows that sanghis and danga party followers will never allow this
                                  1. Y
                                    Yegneswaran Dandapani
                                    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:07 am
                                    It is too you early for young boys and girls to understand body and mind fully . They are concerned more with the visible body and mush less with the other . This adolescent age related issues cover both body and mind but the young kids would only relate to the bodily changes . Attraction actually is a feeling in the mind but they see it in the body lt;br/gt;This programme will certainly clarify a lot of things for them
                                    1. A
                                      Anisha Singh
                                      Feb 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm
                                      Moving in the right direction. Much needed development. #uplifting news
                                      1. E
                                        Eric Butruille
                                        Feb 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm
                                        Now, he just needs to convince Modi and the Parliament to abrogate art 377...
                                        1. M
                                          Murali Gopal
                                          Feb 21, 2017 at 1:19 am
                                          This is a much needed effort and I do hope it is followed through. This gender sensitisation over a period could cut down on female foeticide, lead to more respect for women and inclusion of LGBT people in society. Kudos to the government for implementing it.
                                          1. A
                                            Anamika Mahesj
                                            Feb 21, 2017 at 5:42 pm
                                            He was being sarcastic, Jia
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