So your child isn’t coming across a condom ad while watching TV, is that making things better or worse? India’s I&B ministry recently on 11th December, imposed a ban on condoms ads between 6 AM and 10 PM because they are considered as indecent for children. After reading a lot of opinions and formulating my own, let me tell you in a nutshell, why banning condom ads is not a good idea.
Firstly, apart from condom ads, there are tonnes of ads running on TV that can easily be deemed indecent for children. Skin whitening creams basically tell us that the color white is superior to black, is that what we want to teach our children? No wonder millions of brown people in India do not feel comfortable in their own skin. Similarly, if we look at deodorant and undergarments ads, they appear more indecent for children than a condom ad which is aimed to increase awareness in a country where only 5.6 % of males use a condom and 48 million cases of pregnancies are unwanted. Banning condom ads is not a good idea if we take this into consideration.
Secondly, we have to accept the fact that internet has more influence on children than the TV. I stopped watching TV when I was in 10th grade and relied on the internet for everything. The internet is filled with all kinds of ads and is equally accessible to all. How much are we really censoring by banning condom ads on TV?
Third, the more you ban something, the higher chances of people going to look for the same. Banning the condom ad would force the children to go and search what is a condom on the internet. This brings me to the issue of sex education in our country. I haven’t really had anyone who has taught me about sex, despite the fact that I am a 22-year-old boy. We have sex a taboo and don’t want our children anything about it. You have to accept the fact that there should be age-appropriate sex education for children because even though the adult threshold age is 18, these days a 14-year-old also knows a lot. So, it becomes our duty to educate them and make sure they do not go on a wrong path.
Fourth, as I mentioned earlier, there is other media content too that runs on a TV. All those item songs and ads also create and influence children.
The focus of matter could be the way condoms ads are promoted. As far as I know, very few condom ads are aimed towards promoting protection from STDs and birth control. Others just star Bollywood actresses and do everything they can within the guidelines to catch the attention of the viewer. Condom ads are crucial to create awareness and educate people. It can be done in a different way, an effective way.
So that’s why banning condom ads is not a good idea, sex education should be a taboo anymore.
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