Content advisory 16+ Following the ideas expressed by eric (usa-based opinion) and Roopsa (india-based opinion), I want to give you the Russian one)
We have a long history, and often one of dramatic self-contradiction. one example was the belief, which lasted until the 20th century, that women should hide their hair under a shawl or scarf -- because revealing it was a sure sign of a sexually-charged nature and a display of sexually explicit behavior.
Then along came the USSR, where several guys initially proposed having “sex rooms” to prevent the likelihood of “permanent couples” forming, as it contradicted the idea of Communism and Universal Good. According to this juicy philosophy, Everything should be shared, even husbands and wives.
A bit later came the period of the moustached killer, and somehow from amid the sprawl of the great shadow cast by the ‘Man of Steel' society came to an idea that sex is a “dirty” thing, and as the USSR was a highly-developed socialist society there could be no place for puny animal pleasures, and everything should be for the Common Good, whereas sex most obviously catered only to the carnal cravings of sordid individuals (provided it wasn't being filmed for the titillation of the anointed few. The censors must have had a ball.)
So, it was declared that ‘There is no sex in the USSR.”
But puleez….Of course there was.
In early 90s' it flourished, and ‘self-education' was humming (and groping) along at its best. Then order was restored, someone remembered that God needed his House back, remont and all, so the great swimming pool in Kropotkinskaya, built in 1958, was demolished and the present cathedral erected in its place in l995. A symbol of virginal sentiments perhaps? Sexy poolside gear was thus removed and cumbersome -- but MORAL -- Orthodox gowns donned to show the errant masses what was WHAT !! -- and before long anything thought to be “an insult to the believers' feelings” could lead to imprisonment -- this highly principled dictum implying also of course that human sexuality -- in all its various trimmings -- just might be insulting to some of the more pious members of the holy flock...
What about me? My parents were shy to tell me about sex. At length, my mother, being a doctor, presented me with some books containing a formal description and basic hygiene counseling...
Many things I learned from my elder brother, others I found myself in educational Western books, thanks to my level of English, which helped me to read the things that couldn't be translated here [in Russia].
This is all about the tendency towards restriction. From my point of view, restricting the sex impulse while trying to deny or expel our natural urges can only be counterproductive in the end, spawning a violent backlash in the wake of unhealthy psychological repression and leading to an increase in unwanted pregnancies and rapes. However, speaking about that, we see that there is a slogan, crawling through the billboards of Moscow - “got pregnant? give birth!”, thus if we just want to increase the number of Russians that populate the planet, we must likewise educate the billposters that pregnancy comes about, at least most of the time, as a result of SEX. Given this minor detail (or sordid fact, if that is your mindset), wouldn't it make sense to educate young people on the subject of human sexuality -- not just that of frogs in a laboratory -- and instead of rendering some moralistic hangangue about sin and guilt, simply tell them the truth and educate them so that when they do what they are GOING TO DO, they can at least manage it safely, without spreading some pestilence such as HIV and without producing unwanted pregnancies?