Sex education in Schools conducted by medical students

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Udita Ganguly, a second year medical student of Dr DY Patil Medical College who likes to bombard people frequently with her views on women’s rights and health. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Its’s safe to say that women face some level of subjugation in almost every field  . However as future doctors and current medical students there’s no denying we get multiple occasions to shape their opinion simply by the added weight in knowledge that the white coat lends us. Let’s start  right with  when a baby is born . Female foeticide is an extremely common problem in multiple third world countries .

Medical students can easily reach out to expecting parents in their known circles and squatter settlements in their city ,  to help reinforce that a healthy child and not only a XY carrier is what counts the most . There are also multiple government schemes in such countries which people are often unaware of offering various incentives especially monetary which can in  fact go a long away in convincing misogynistic parties to not abort their child. Lastly, though fairly simple,  female medical students can always cite their own example as successful female children . 

This brings me to my second and main point . Imparting sexual education is a another key area where medical students stand at an advantage due to their relatively younger age, lesser workload and higher relatability to their target audience .

Unfortunately proper sexual education  isn’t often taught properly even in many western schools and is  downright taboo in many orthodox countries which leads to teenagers often banking on half baked knowledge gleaned off the internet.

Regular sex education drives regarding contraception and sexual health conducted by medical students  will not only prevent unplanned pregnancies but also shed light on important issues such as the underlining violent nature of mainstream porn often aped by impressionable young men . Statistics have proven that the major burden of contraception is borne by women .

Such programmes can hopefully normalise the fact that contraception is a dual responsibility  that should be shouldered by both genders and help eradicate widespread  but rarely discussed problems like intimate partner violence (IPV)  and marital rape at an early stage. Discussions can be held to destigmatise abortion and foster a less intimidating image of the entire procedure to girls who might one day need it.

If conducting such programmes is made a mandatory part of the  medical curriculum not only will it steer impressionable adolescents in the right direction but also serve as a great pilot run for medical students who’ll inevitably have to counsel patients in the future .

While I am well aware that the above two are in no way radically innovative solutions , in the pursuit of overly complex answers we often underestimate the impact that simple and regularly conducted awareness drives can have when aimed at the right audience , at the right time, using the right people  and most importantly using the right innovative and engaging methods ( like social media etc ) .

About the author

Udita Ganguly is a second year medical student of Dr DY Patil Medical College who likes to bombard people frequently with her views on women’s rights and health . She envisions a world where feminism will no longer be needed and the only determinants in opportunity will be people’s work and will power.

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