Gynaecologists are to treat or preach?
Premarital and teenage sex is the biggest taboo in India. It is considered illegal and not advisable because of the risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. It is beyond my scientific intellect to understand that how can an institution like marriage (used to legalize sex) prevent unwanted pregnancies or STD’s. Yes, it makes it easier for a married woman to consult a gynaecologist and get treated with respect.
It is highly unlikely for the society to digest the fact that a 20 year old can practically have a life. They can live on their own and with whomsoever they want. Our Indian misogynist gynaecologists are an epitome of hypocrisy. There is a vast difference between the way they treat a married and an unmarried woman of the same age. As per the feedback that I got from girls in Delhi University, if by chance one has caught up some vaginal yeast infection or has gotten pregnant then an encounter with a gynaecologist is horrifying and traumatic.
These doctors instead of treating young girls and advising them on healthy preventive measures make them guilty for having pre-marital sex. They interrogate them like they are some sex industry worker. They preach as to how sexual activities at such a young age “can cause harm to their reproductive health”. I bet if they have to say the same thing to a 20 year old married woman. A girl in her reproductive phase must be comfortable and frank with her gynaecologist. She must be able to share her sexual life and ask related queries. Unfortunately because of the mistreatment that these sexist doctors offer girls are afraid of seeing them. As a result they resort to local chemist shops and buy medication without any prescription. They fear the terrorizing encounter so much that they take pills or vaginal infection creams without caring about its correct usage and side effects.
If gynaecologists just stop preaching moral values and start educating young girls and boys about safe sex, drunken sex, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and STD’s and encourage them to get themselves regularly tested and stick to safe sex practices, they would be of some worth. And even if this is too much to ask they should just stick to their job for which they are paid, to treat a medical condition effectively without treating patients like criminals. And all of this drama that these doctors throw as to how worried they are about increasing teenage pregnancy incidents and STDs would itself come to an end if they change their approach towards patients. If teenagers grow up with a deep understanding of safe sexual practices and routine sexual health checkups, they would not end up ruining their lives because they were too scared to face a doctor after having used their right to sexuality.
———— About the Author: This article has been contributed by Aqsa Zaidi, our intern. Aqsa is a Botany Hons. Student from Hindu College, Delhi University. She feels it’s her constant struggle and effort to understand and redefine independence and equality in its purest form through her writing . Believing in women and youth empowerment, Aqsa wants to induct the same in her readers.