Bollywood’s chocolate boy Ranbir Kapoor once said that he lost his virginity when he was just 15 years old. He later had many relationships and thus became the proverbial loverboy in Bollywood. But wait what, do men have virginity? Or is it also customary to lose it early?
Money is a social construct. However, to identify it is not to claim that it does not exist or that it is a lie. It exists and is a social contract that we all agree to in order to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.
Like money, virginity is also a social construct. It’s not something you can hold in your hand or see, but it’s something we’ve fixed as a culture. It is a device we use to mark “before” and “after”. I would also like to note that many cultures and communities emphasize the importance of virginity which puts pressure on both genders.
According to the 2007 Face of Global Sex Report released by Durex, the average Indian male loses his virginity much later than the global average. While the average age for Chinese is 22.1 years and for Malaysians 23 years, the average age for Indians is 22.9 years. (You see, not everyone is Ranbir Kapoor).
Australians and Americans lose their virginity at the age of 17.3 and 18 respectively. In my experience, Indians are also predictably, far less free-spirited than Americans. There are also the late bloomers who, for a variety of reasons, have delayed sexual experience beyond the average Indian.
More than losing virginity early, Indian schools place little emphasis on sex education. Worldwide, schools are the primary source of sex education for 20 percent of people. It is safe to say that the root cause of low sexuality and sexual awareness for safe sex among Indians is not enough sex education.
Finally, I cannot stress enough the advice to men to be comfortable with losing their virginity (though it is a social construct) and to exercise caution whenever they do. Filmmaker Karan Johar lost his virginity at the age of 26, which is much higher than the Indian average. Remember: age is just a number.
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