Serious reservations have been expressed about providing family life or sex education for school-going youth in India. Tamil Nadu is a state in India that had introduced the School AIDS Education Programme in 1997. Data from the “Youth in India: Situation and Needs” study conducted in Tamil Nadu permit an exploration of whether or not exposure to family life or sex education is associated with safe and healthy behaviors among young people. This policy brief documents the extent of exposure to family life or sex education among youth in Tamil Nadu and the extent to which sexual and reproductive health awareness and behaviors differ between youth who were exposed to family life or sex education and those who were not. It argues that youth who were exposed to such education were considerably more likely to be aware of sexual and reproductive matters and slightly less likely to have engaged in risky sexual practices than those who were not. Evidence from Tamil Nadu does not support concerns raised by the Rajya Sabha Committee, which recommended that there be no sex education in schools.
International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Population Council. 2009. "Sexuality education matters: Experiences of youth in Tamil Nadu," Youth in India: Situation and Needs Policy Brief no. 14. Mumbai: IIPS.
Youth in India: Situation and Needs Study