Dr Praveen Tripathi spoke to the Logical Indian, consultant in Psychiatry and Director, The Renova Care, Noida, to understand what really triggers this kind of dangerous mindset in such young children. Dr Tripathi said, “One of the major reasons is that the children nowadays are exposed to sexual content. With such penetration of the internet into the lives, children are able to see such content and there is no way that the content that they view can be regulated. Even if a mechanism is brought to regulate it, people always find a way around it.” Dr Tripathi says that kids as young as six-seven years old, as in the Kanpur rape case are still developing understanding, consume all this misinformation and get influenced. “In developed countries, children are provided with sex education, which is lacking in our country. So, there is both lack of information and misinformation that comes into play.” “Children from a young age need to be taught against treating women as mere objects, and they should be taught to respect them. They should also be educated about proper sexual behaviour and what is inappropriate sexual behaviour, what are the consequences of misbehaviour.” Dr Tripathi draws attention to a very important point, he says, “In many cases, it is possible that children who commit sexual crimes may themselves be victims of sexual abuse. There have been studies which have in fact proved this.” When asked whether these kids, who are as young as six years old, understand what they are actually doing, Dr Tripathi said, “A six-year-old may not have this understanding, but being exposed to pornographic content, the child may try to mimic it. Even in this case, these kids might have viewed such content and developed a distorted image in their undeveloped minds. And they may live to think that this is the normal sexual behaviour.” “It is very important that the teachers and the parents impart sexual education to their kids. Also telling them what kind of healthy behaviour is expected out of them”, Dr Tripathi says.
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