Controversy Around Grade 11 Health Text Book Which Blames Rape Victims For Rape

A major controversy has sparked around the contents relating to rape and unwanted pregnancies in the Grade 11 Health and Physical Education textbook.

While the educators may be well meaning, the content is not only factually incorrect but also perpetuates incorrect and unhealthy ideas around sexual and reproductory health and rights.

The topic of rape is especially contentious and saying ‘Rape is a cause of unwanted pregnancy. Perpetrators of rape can be mentally ill or behave very irresponsible’ is terribly reductive.

There should be a clear idea about what Rape is, in the first place, and how important consent is, in sexual relationships.

Rapists are not always deranged men lurking on street corners - rape occurs within relationship and within marrriages and is tied very strongly to concepts of respect and consent.

Any one of the young men or women being taught this subject could be a rapist - even a serial rapist, in a culture that DOESN’T recognize the power of saying ‘no’ and having it respected and heard.

At no point is the ‘irresponsible behavior of victims’ a reason or cause for rape. This needs to be clearly understood.

Our youth need to be taught that unplanned for pregnancy is not the worst thing that can come off a sexual relationship.

A healthy discourse on sex should be encouraged rather than a cautionary textbook that perpetuates stigma and cultural mores.

What is sadder still is that this ‘internet generation’ already had access to information online. I’m including this kind of content on textbooks, educators will only turn youth away from education, as they recognize how inadequate the information provided in this is.

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd