There has lately been hot discussions on topics concerning premarital sex and premarital childbirth. I kept on reading the various comments and reflecting upon them has culminated into this article.
As far as the Indian ethos go both are like forbidden fruit eating which we have to face the consequences. But as the societal behavior is changing particularly in metro cities and towns how it affects the mentality of our younger generation can be understood only by living within the society.
When I meet youngsters belonging to the middle class, related to my family or from neighborhood, I find these shy children still blush with the name of love itself. They are trapped in the struggle of resolving career-oriented problems on the one hand and are in a blind race of adopting the western lifestyle. They are keen to adopt card culture and fast food trend, while love is still a romantic dream for them. Trapped in traditional disparities these youngsters seem to shy from physical relationship. But when I go through the personal columns and discussion boards in the magazines, I find most of their talks revolving around issues of premarital sex, their physical involvements and their confusions arising thereof. The newspapers are full of such love messages, in the chat room of Internet cafes these youngsters appear to be very bold.
I get perplexed with the projection of this double standard of this new young Indian lot. What is the truth? They might have indulged in the physical relations out of natural curiosity but their Indian cultural norms must also lead to conflict within their minds. These premarital relations give rise to the problem of mental distress. Because our Indian traditions emphasize that physical relation and sex should be with only the one you get married. All love affairs are not successful : some are sacrificed due to circumstances and societal pressures while fade with the passage of time. In these cases, if there has been physical involvement, then these Indian youngsters cannot embezzle it, and their traditional views do not allow them to accept it. This remains alive in their life and revives like an ulcer in their personality.
In India, the large percentage of boys and girls belonging to middle class families of small towns are still ignorant of sexual relations till they get married. This is also a negative approach. One class of these youngsters wants to be known as progressive, they stay in big cities while enjoying their freedom and independence. These self-dependent young who believe marriage as a burden, are economically independent, they think that they have a clear thought of physical relations, just like a natural desire. For such desires, the girls and boys belonging to this class start staying together under the concept of 'Living-in-relations '. These young persons who don't believe in marriage, in no time, entangle with lot of troubles. These relations do not have any commitments, devotion, and when there is an ego clash with each other, then these relations without any sanctity of society become burden leading to separation and a cause for mental distress.
It has taken some thousand of years for man to evolve from an animal to a civilized human, developing his emotional and societal needs to build relationships for his personal growth and family, how can the act of sex sans an emotional security be truly satisfying? Physical relation involves emotional bondage. We see around us married couples really struggle to make their marriage successful because they are committed, while the bond which is without the sanctity of marriage, it is assumed, will definitely be full of problems only.
Finally, these premarital relations may give a short-lived sense of joy through sexual release or a feeling of independence by rebelling against the traditional values, they do not confer permanency that the institution of marriage does. Premarital sexual relations also occur when people cross their marriageable age and are unable to overlook their physical needs. One may argue that for an adult, the sexual satisfaction is one's personal affair or an ecstasy arising from the union of two bodies yet the Indian society does not sanctify this argument without the institution of marriage. It is true that this institution, in itself is quite old and needs some change and a considerate attitude. For example the orthodox and tradition bound society must accept love marriages.
At last, these traditions do work and provides security and confidence to children, the traditions, which are inculcated at childhood, parent's awareness and friend's behavior, and these children do not look outside for any prohibited happiness. But extremeness always makes opposite impression, difference among sex, keeping them apart becomes a cause of dangerous anxiety. At this stage, the sex education, at the right time through the right medium, serves the positive role. With the combination of considerate liberal approach and keeping the traditional values in mind we can restrict such pre-marital sexual relations to a certain extent. This requires cooperation of the society, parents, educational institutions, media and even the compatibility of youngsters.
The second issue is the birth of a child arising from premarital sex. This is not desired or acceptable even in the tribal society of any part of the world. Even among the animals, before giving birth to their children, both parents bring up the children together, till they become self-dependent. Single motherhood is not only unnatural but suicidal too. Even if the mother is well-versed to rear her children, she cannot provide completeness in the absence of the father. The unmarried mother can't do justice with herself and the child.
With various discussions and debates, these topics will always remain filled with controversies and will be alive forever. Prohibited but lustrous the premarital sex may be, it cannot remove the values of the institution of marriage. Though the marriage is an old institution but it has a definite scientific value of stability, physical satisfaction, emotional attachments and feeling of security.