How is sex education changing in Europe?

Would you have sex on TV? Hey, it’s for a good cause. That’s the pitch of Norwegian broadcaster NRK’s fall TV show Line Fixes Her Body, which features Norway’s pink-haired Instagram legend Line Elvsåshagen (138,000 followers and counting). The point is to teach kids and teens about sex and body positivity — and one of the ways the producers plan to do that is by showing regular people having regular sex, no porn-style plastic surgery or teeth gnashing encouraged.

As that innovative programming suggests, Norway is at the top of the pack when it comes to progressive sex education. But it’s not the only country where a sex-positive person with social media cred is playing a big role in a country’s sexual health, though Elvsåshagen certainly has more institutional backing than most. But given that a 2013 European Union report found only eight of 24 countries in the group met the criteria for providing effective sex education — Norway wasn’t included, since it’s not technically in the EU — perhaps others could take a cue.

In some countries, it’s impossible to be so forward. The 2013 report labeled Poland as having the most difficulty among the EU’s large member states in implementing sex education; students on the receiving end of it claimed that many teachers were poorly prepared or offered opinions rather than facts.

In some places, sex education is changing first at the official level. Last year, France made a stir when it was announced that a 3D-printed model of the clitoris would be used in schools to teach sexuality. Experts tell OZY that sex education is changing in France because more and more teachers (mostly women) concerned about sexism and discrimination are persuaded that change will come through education — largely by educating boys.

Did you know that the Netherlands has one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the world? Did you know that the majority of teens in the Netherlands say their first sexual experiences were “wanted” and “fun?” It could be because by law, all primary school students in the Netherlands must receive some form of “sexuality education.”  The idea here is to have open and honest conversations about relationships and love.

A 2008 United Nations report found that comprehensive sex ed allows young people to “explore their attitudes and values, and to practice the decision-making and other life skills they will need to be able to make informed choices about their sexual lives.”

Though there are benefits, it will be huge leap in terms of changing the taboo that sex has in Asia. But, thanks to the internet, it’ll still be just a click away, no matter where you are.


Interesting reads:

https://www.attn.com/stories/7020/sex-education-europe-compared-to-united-states

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/spring-fever

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/25/sex-education-dutch-children

http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/how-european-kids-are-getting-their-sex-ed-from-social-media/81236

https://www.vice.com/sv/article/3b48d3/what-students-in-europe-learn-that-americans-dont

https://amsterdam-mamas.nl/articles/sex-education-netherlands

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/06/22/in-the-netherlands-sex-education-starts-in-kindergarten-heres-what-they-tell-them-why/

13 comments

  1. That is absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Sex (but not porn Sex, of course) on TV to help people with body positivity… Of course, having Googled Line, whoa… I digress… Um, how silly, either way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very Interesting. Don’t see how showing actual people having “regular” sex on T.V. will help the ordeal, seems like it will encourage but I guess instead of it being wild and outrageous (as it’s not) the point is to show that sex should and can be shared with individuals without all the hoopla and who really genuinely love each other (we should hope =)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. About sex education. A lot of countries could learn from our Goedele Liekens… 😊 and yes regular sex and no porn cause it’s not normal that teenage boys don’t understand why a girl is upset when he does certain things (don’t want to say it to explicit) …

    Liked by 1 person

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