The workshop booklet can be viewed here
The workshop booklet can be viewed here
As a result of our GMTN exercise, we came up with fix cards. This pack of cards is a toolkit for designers and non designers alike to solve problems and come up with solutions.
the 52 ‘Fix cards’ have been divided into 4 categories – Goals, Methods, Tools and Nature. The back of which are blank to allow the user to define their own GMTN. Various combinations and permutations of these cards would lead to ideas.
To paint a clearer picture of the situation of sex and sexuality education in India and the world today, we decided to use the metaphor of lamp posts on the riverside.
Considering the fact that sex, sexuality and all related terms have been shoved into the darkest corners of our rooms and away from our children, whether at home or at school, we want these lamp posts to stress on our belief that light needs to be shed onto these corners, conversations regarding these topics and issues need to be started by us all.
We invited a few of our peers and asked them to read out some general facts about sex. None of them knew what they were going to be reading. We captured their reactions on camera.
But apart from all the awkwardness and the laughter involved, there are other reasons behind the making of this video. Their reactions show that talking out loud about these topics is not the most comfortable thing to do, even though they were speaking these words before their own friends, even though these statements are facts, adults of their age should know (that is if they knew what all they were saying).
And beyond the kind people who spared time to participate, some of the ones watching this for the first time might just hear something they haven’t heard before, in a ‘more fun than biology class’ way.
But the bottom line is, why should it be so embarrassing?
Do you remember our GMTs and our affinity map? (see https://shhhsex.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/method-to-madness/)
And our trigger cards? (see https://shhhsex.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/trigger-cards/)
We printed all our GMTN cards and trigger cards, to use them for a second round of ideation. We picked up Goal, Method and Tool cards at random and thought of solutions related to these cards. Different permutations and combinations lead to various kinds of solutions, and in the process more cards got linked to each solution.
Coming up with all our ideas was the easy part. The ride gets bumpy now, when we have to pick the ones we want to take forward (really excited about all the arguments the four of us are going to have). The card games are over, it’s time for battle.
We had sent out two surveys to everyone we know back at the start of October; one to be filled by the ‘children’ (between the ages of 13 and 25 years old) and the other to be filled by the ‘parents’. In total, over 400 individuals filled out these surveys. The responses we got shed even more light on why sex and sexuality need to be taken out of this dingy, dark abyss of shame and ignorance.
When we read the statements above it’s evident that most parents needed an external trigger to start this conversation; a conversation that wasn’t held as much as it just happened (fortunately!). Why should “the talk” require to be an ice breaking session between parents and their children? Why should we even throw in quotation marks and place this topic on a pedestal cursed with taboo in the first place?
Here we see what the children have to say about the talk. From their general tone of speaking, certain things are very clear. Their sarcasm shows regret for all the lost opportunities of having a discussion, and for all the discomfort they felt during the discussions that did take place. There is a sense of defiance that points towards a big
difference in the opinions of the two respective generations. And in the minority that did seem to be able to speak to their parents openly, we see gratitude and confidence.
Also, we must spare a few moments of utmost empathy for the ones who were supposedly expected to learn from porn! Parents, please; children need correct information and good guidance.
Half of these children wouldn’t ask their parents, two thirds of them wouldn’t ask their teachers. The result? The internet is the most trusted source, followed by their peers.
But the point to note here is that the most trusted sources of information are not the most reliable ones.
In other shocking news, there are many individuals that have wrong information regarding the spread of STIs, even though our country’s education system seems to promote the teaching of topics like contraception and safe sex. A third of them believe that oral sex cannot cause STIs, almost a third of them believe that abstinence can cause them and one fourth of them believe that oral contraceptives can keep them safe from these diseases. At least the topics that are being taught should be taught very well, shouldn’t they? It seems not.
So the bottom line is, we need to start having ‘the talk’, and it should not be such a big deal for everyone. If personal stories don’t alarm you, the numbers surely ought to. We need good sex and sexuality education, now.