What would you do if there was no sex allowed where you live? Think Footloose, but worse (and naked). You’d probably freak, right? (Er, maybe not the best choice of words.) That whole “no sex dystopia” may become a reality for teens in India.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Bill in India wasn’t necessarily designed to enforce a no sex rule, but to prevent children and teens from sexual abuse, which is rampant in the nation. In fact, over 50 percent of children and teens report being sexually abused at least once, and that’s scary–because that’s only the reported cases. So this whole “no sex under 18” rule sounds like a pretty noble cause, doesn’t it?
Problem is, the bill is full of unrealistic and potentially dangerous rules that essentially add up to allowing no sex of any kind, consensual or not, for anyone—even if your partner is the same age. The bill promises to punish anyone who commits sexual acts of various kinds–and they were listed in pretty explicit detail–to or with anyone under 18 years old.
But consider this: Most women and girls in India get married before they’re 18, with nearly 1 in 5 getting married before they’re even 15. Sorta hard to imagine, right? And even harder to imagine that these married women and girls are having no sex with their hubbies. A lot of skeptics are asking that the no sex ban lower the age of consent in India to 16 to accommodate the reality there–and elsewhere.
While supporters of the bill insist that anyone under 18 having consensual sex with someone else their age won’t be necessarily thrown into juvey (they recommend counseling), it sort of sets a weird, unrealistic standard. India has the second highest population on the planet right now and is where the Kama Sutra originated–do we really expect a no sex rule to work there? (Or anywhere at all ever?!)
It seems like something like this could never go down here, right? Well, while there’s no “no sex” rule in place, there are similar ones, like the “gateway sexual acts” rule. Scary!
Obviously, creepy old guys are the target for the no sex law, and we totally support that–of course we don’t endorse sexual abuse of any kind. But sexual abuse isn’t the same thing as sexual activity, and a no sex rule is banning just that. If teens are aware of the risks involved with having sex and take necessary precautions to keep themselves and their consenting, age-appropriate partners safe, why should the government force a no sex rule into place?
And it begs another question, too: How exactly will they enforce a no sex rule without, well, being kinda weird about it? How will they make sure girls and their boyfriends or husbands are having no sex? Are they gonna peek through windows, or just assume it’s not happening unless reported? (And uh, who’s going to report having consensual sex?) It just seems like a giant can of worms is just waiting to be opened. A really skeevy, gross, invasive can of worms.
What would you think if a no sex law passed in the U.S.? Do you agree with India’s no sex law? Do you think a no sex law could ever go through where you live? Tell us in the comments!