Sailakshmi Kumar

Lingual Choices: The Taboo of Sexual, Reproductive, and Women's Health in India

AIDS has held a strong place in the agendas of the Indian government and NGOs in the past few decades, a condition which includes almost 2.4 million infected individuals in India today according to the World Bank. As this condition was heavily targeted on the national level by The National AIDS Control Program (NACP) and on the local level by NGOs, many at risk populations, such as truck drivers or sex workers, received education and tips for safer sex practices. However at the same time, the major driver of AIDS, sexual intercourse (and related topics like women’s health and reproductive health), was still rarely conversed in daily conversations and awareness only exacerbated the idea that sex was dirty and improper. While much research regarding the barriers and lack of information has been documented, not much research has been done regarding the language used in Tamil Nadu when talking about these topics. Thus the study aims to interview and analyze the speech of women in a village in Tamil Nadu to gain a further understanding of common language usage and linguistic quirks.