The Scope

Video: Sex Ki Adalat is simple and funny but provides basic lessons on sexual health

The short courtroom drama episodes in this web series talk about virginity, sex-selection, masturbation, porngraphy and menstruation.

What is the hymen? How does it rupture? Is it linked to virginity? These are the basic biology questions that an eight minute video – the second episode of Sex Ki Adalat – sets out to answer.

The new web series produced by the Population Foundation of India aims to educate young people and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 24 about sexual and reproductive health. It does this by adopting the entertainment device of the courtroom drama (and by invoking the hugely popular talk show Aap Ki Adalat hosted by journalist Rajat Kapoor) to explain the biological premise of virginity, sex-selection, masturbation, porngraphy and menstruation.

The drama, with its healthy dose of humour, relies on science to debunk popular myths and at the same time delivers lessons on gender equality. For instance, the first episode on sex-selection and preference is centered around a case in which a wife asks a husband for divorce because he cannot give her a male child. When the defence lawyer argues that bearing a male child is a woman’s responsibility, a doctor is called to the stand. He explains the basic genetics of sex selection and how the man carries both chromosomes that determine the sex of a baby. A repentant husband then says, “Hum ko yeh chromosome-wali baat nahin maalum tha.” I did not know all this about chromosomes.

He asks his wife to take him back.

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The first two episodes use stereotypical characters – the misguided husband, the wronged wife, one lawyer passionate about equality of the sexes and the other bombastic about the preservation of Indian culture. The familiar characters help convey basic biology lessons to the target audience of young people who may have several questions about sexual health and sexuality but have never got answers from teachers, textbooks, family or friends.

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